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Modern basketball, 

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Head Coach of Basketball, University of Pennsylvania 


Head Coach of Basketball and Track, and Instructor 
ia Health and Physical Education, Ursinus College 

With an Introduction by 

And a Foreword by 





Copyright, 1939, by W. B. Saunders Company 

All Rights Reserved 
This book is protected by copyright. No part of it 
may be duplicated or reproduced in any manner 
without written permission from the publisher 






Basketball has had an amazingly rapid development. 
Though generally regarded as an American game, it has from its 
beginning had an international character. It was invented in the 
United States in 1891 at Springfield College by James Naismith, 
who was born in Canada. When the sport was first included on 
the official program of the Olympic Games at St. Louis in 1904, 
only five teams participated — all from the United States. When 
it again appeared in the Olympic program thirty-two years later 
at the 1936 Games at Berlin, it had clearly attained world 
eminence, with twenty-one teams from twenty-one different na- 
tions, representing four of the five continents of the world. 

Basketball was invented as an indoor game. In the United 
States it is still so regarded. It is clearly our greatest and most 
widely played indoor game. Abroad, however, and especially in 
Europe and at the 1936 Games, it has been played as an out- 
door game. 

In 1932 a group of Springfield College men in the Y. M. C. A.'s 
of various European nations organized the Federation Inter- 
nationale de Basketball Amateur. By 1936 this international 
basketball federation had grown to a membership representing 
thirty-three nations, with countless players, probably running 
into the millions. In the United States alone over 100,000 
basketball rule books are sold annually. 

Basketball is a strenuous, fast, and even gruelling game, 
especially when played under the intense competitive environment 
of modern . intercollegiate and interscholastic leagues and con- 
ferences. It is most suitable for the sound and vigorous young 
men of senior high school and college age who are able to play 
the game at its best without risk of overstrain. It may easily be 
too strenuous for boys below senior high school age or for adults 
of middle life unless very carefully supervised. The game is so 
fascinating and so motivated by its natural drives that all who 
learn to play it tend to pursue it far beyond the point of diminish- 
ing returns in health and physical education. The authors give 


ample and appropriate suggestions for adequate supervision and 

When well played, basketball is a game rich in learnings in- 
volving skills, knowledge, social and moral conduct situations, 
attitudes, and appreciations for its participants. The educational 
outcomes may be good or bad, depending on the type of super- 
vision, coaching, and other leadership provided. 

Haphazard and unsupervised play or unsportsmanlike atti- 
tudes result in faulty learnings, objectionable conduct, and re- 
duced satisfaction for the player, his opponent, or the spectator. 
The game is learned "by doing," in the form of practice and par- 
ticipation. The practice and play should be limited to the 
candidates who observe good training and who are meticulous 
in the performance of correct techniques and skills which lead 
to the most successful individual and team achievements. To do 
this, coaches and players alike may speed the learning process 
and increase the satisfaction and educational attainments by 
utilizing the best literature on the game. 

The present volume should be valuable to coaches and players 
highly experienced, or in the earlier stages of teaching and learn- 
ing. The authors, Lon Jourdet and Kenneth Hashagen, are 
among the greatest players developed in intercollegiate circles. 
In addition to this, Jourdet has become the most successful coach 
in the Eastern Intercollegiate League, the oldest and one of the 
largest intercollegiate playing leagues in the United States. The 
authors have made a significant contribution to the solution of the 
many problems faced by basketball players and coaches of the 
present day. Their treatise is organized into various units suited 
to the progressive requirements of a well-planned instructional 
program which takes into account generous provision for learning 
the fundamentals of the game, individual differences, appropriate 
cautions against overstrain and staleness, and techniques of of- 
fense and defense. Included are admirable chapters on the 
philosophy and psychology of the game. 

Frederick W. Luehring, Ph. D. 

Professor of Physical Education, 
University of Pennsylvania. 


A book on basketball tactics, coaching and philosophy by 
Lon Jourdet and Ken Hashagen should prove a most useful work. 
Lon Jourdet as player and coach spans a stretch of some thirty 
years — or three of the nearly five decades marking the life of the 
game itself. Most of this time, of course, Lon has been coach 
or advisory coach of the University of Pennsylvania Basketball 
Team. Judged by the usual standards of victories and champion- 
ships won, his record has been outstanding. Judged by the higher 
standards of character molding, his record has been even more 
outstanding. Lon's boys never forget him or the lessons they 
learned both on and off the floor. 

Ken Hashagen, the co-author and a key player on two of 
Lon's championship teams, has likewise had a successful record 
as player and coach. His playing days are near enough to bring 
to the book a fresh point of view. (In fact, he is still playing on 
club teams as these lines are being written.) The combination, 
therefore, is a very happy one. 

Basketball is the newest of our games. It has been developing 
steadily, albeit its founder, Dr. James Naismith, with whom the 
writer sat for years on the Rules Committee, has seen fit to 
criticize the trend of play of recent years, the zone defense partic- 
ularly and the action of this current Rules Committee in abolish- 
ing the center jump. But on the whole, the development has 
been steady and constructive, and I know of no better exponents 
of this development than the two authors of this work, whose 
written wOrds will doubtless bring happiness and wisdom to their 
readers, who should be legion. 

Ralph Morgan 

For Twenty-nine Years Chairman of the University of 
Pennsylvania Basketball Committee. Honorary Life 
Member of the Rules Committee. 
August, 1939. 



Units of Instruction in the Fundamentals of Basketball. . . 1 

Unit I. Introductory Lecture 1 

Unit II. The Rules of the Game 6 

J^Unit III. Catching and Passing 9 

L^Unit IV. Shooting 19 

^Unit V. Dribbling 31 

-TJnit VI. Pivoting 35 

Unit VII. Faking 41 

Unit VEIL Guarding 44 

Unit IX. Getting Possession of the Ball 53 

Unit X. Individual Strategy 58 

Unit XI. Summary of Off ensive-and Defensive Fundamentals 60 


Teaching Team Play .... : -1 65 

Four Weeks of Practice Sessions Showing Practical Application 
of Part I. 


Advanced Team Play : 81 

Offense 81 

Offense against the Man-to-Man Defense 83 

Out-of-Bounds Plays 90 

Held Ball Toss-ups 92 

Defense 96 

Man-to-Man Defense 97 

Zone Defense 101 

Offense against the Zone Defense 102 


General Coaching Suggestions 117 

Conditioning 117 

Supervision 120 

Training 123 

Psychology 128 

Intersectional Games 133 

Appendix 135 

Key to and Description of All Drills Used in Parts I and II. 

Index. 159 




The following units have been prepared as an aid in teaching 
the game of basketball to beginners. They are not to be consid- 
ered suitable, in their present form and content, to a coach's 
more specific and more exacting requirements. They are pri- 
marily concerned with the teaching of fundamental techniques 
and individual skills. A mastery of fundamentals is necessary 
for the execution of smooth and effective team play. Despite 
this need for the perfection of individual skills, however, it is 
suggested that a part of the instruction period frequently be 
given over to the actual playing of the game, with stress placed 
upon the correct application of these fundamentals rather than 
upon the development of strategy and team play. 


This unit is designed in order to create a more intelligent 
interest in, and understanding of, the game of basketball. In 
setting forth the origin and history of the game, its development, 
its present status, and its value as a physical education activity, 
it is hoped that professional interest will become more intelligent 
as well as more avid. 
I. History and Development of Basketball 

(A) Invention of basketball in 1891 by Dr. James Nai- 

smith : 

1. Reasons for origin. 

2. Characteristics of original game. 

(B) Early development in the United States: 

1. Naismith's 13 YMCA rules formulated in 1892. 

2. College adoption of basketball in 1893. 

(a) The early Eastern game. 

(b) The early Western game, 
l 1 


3. The early "Pro" game. 

4. Girls "line basketball," invented in 1900 by Mrs. 

Senda Abbott of Smith College. 

5. Foundation of First Intercollegiate League in 1902. 

6. Foundation of First Western Conference in 1905. 

7. Luther Halsey Gulick formulated a set of 22 rules 

in 1906 and the AAU adopted them. 

8. Start of wholesale adoption by high schools, com- 

munity centers, athletic clubs, professional or- 
ganizations, and industrial concerns, in 1906. 

9. A joint committee for rules formed in 1915. 

Fig. 1. — A full house at Penn's Palestra. 

(C) Development in China: 

1. Introduction into China, Japan, and the Philip- 

pines about 1892 by Springfield graduates. 

2. Important rule changes by the Chinese created new 

worldwide interest in the "Sissy" game. 

3. 23,000 Chinese attended a 1935 basketball exhi- 


(D) Recent developments in the United States: 

1. $50,000 was spent for basketball halls alone in 1926. 


2. There were 6,000,000 participants in the U.S. alone 

in 1927. 

3. In 1933, the National Basketball Rules Committee, 

representing the United States and Canada, re- 
placed the old Joint Committee. 

4. 160,000 witnessed 1935-36 double headers held in 

New York's Madison Square Garden. 
(a) There were 16,428 paid attendances for a sin- 
gle evening. 

5. A single Eastern game attracted 11,028 in 1935. 

6. Basketball now played to the almost complete ex- 

clusion of other fall and winter sports in the belt 
extending from South Bend, Indiana, to Elkhart, 

II. Present Status of Basketball 

(A) It has the most democratic representation of any sport 

in the United States. 

(B) This youngest of America's major sports is now the sec- 

ond largest paying sport. 

(C) It is now played in almost every country of the world. 

(D) Twenty-one countries sent teams to the 1936 Olympics. 

(E) Worldwide participation necessitates the existence of 

an International Rules Committee. 

(F) Basketball is looked upon very favorably by both edu- 

cators and physical educators. 

(G) It is becoming increasingly popular. 

1. A recent survey of the national high school athletic 
situation revealed that 99 per cent of all schools 
play basketball, but only 42 per cent maintain 
football teams. Baseball is next with 34 per cent 
and track is sponsored by 32 per cent. 

III. Reasons for Including Basketball in the Physical 
Education Curriculum 
(A) It possesses educational values: 

1. Regardless of whether the school is looked upon as 
a place in which to train habits and powers of 
mind or as a mere socializing agency, basketball 
offers direct and indirect opportunities for "edu- 
cation" through habits — physical and psycholog- 
ical, moral and social. 


(a) It affords socializing values: 

1. Overcoming shyness by "mixing" with team- 

mates will materially aid participants in 
later life. 

2. The all-necessary team play is sure to pre- 

sent many social lessons in fair play and 

3. Playing will present many examples of the 

value of practicing honesty, persistence, 
and self-control. 

(b) It affords moral values: 

1. The participant's moral and ethical ideals 
raised through contacts with a high type 
of coach. 

(B) It includes all activities which are stimulating and 

satisfying: running, jumping, shifting, throwing, 
stretching, and quick reacting. 

(C) It has definite health values: 

1. The nature of the activity necessitates the moving 
of big muscles, so as to produce healthful vig- 
orous exercise. Improvement in physical health 
can be measured in anthropometric terms. 

(D) The speedy and complex movements foster mind and 

muscle coordination. 

(E) It is inexpensive to play: 

1. Courts require little space, are not very expensive, 

and need few repairs. 

2. Uniforms are scanty and hence comparatively in- 


3. The ball is really the only equipment needed. 

(F) Its fascination and element of uncertainty in scoring 

give it high interest value. 

(G) The simplicity of the rules makes it an easy game to 


1. It has infinite possibilities for the development of 

both individual skill and finished team work. 

2. The small number of players makes it possible to 

get a game going easily. 

3. Teamwork is possible without exceptionally long 

practice sessions. 
(H) It may be played by all sizes and ages : 


1. Size and weight may be assets in one department 

of the game and liabilities in another department. 

2. Running, jumping, shifting, and stretching may be 

entered into by any youngster without fear of 
(/) It is a comparatively safe activity: 

1. Graded and modified rules make it physiologically 

safe for all ages and both sexes. 

2. The absence of personal contact makes serious in- 

jury rare. 


The object of this unit is not to explain the rules in their 
entirety, but to give a knowledge of the more important funda- 
mental rules and the steps in the evolution of these rules. In- 
formation calculated to give an understanding of how the game 
is played and the positions of the players is included. A com- 
plete copy of the rules may be had by securing any official 
basketball rule book. 

I. The Object of the Game 

"The object of the game of basketball is to have each team 
score as many points as possible by tossing the ball into its own 
basket, and at the same time prevent the other team from secur- 
ing possession of the ball or scoring." (Goldsmith's Official Rule 

Naturally there must be specific rules to curtail the actions 
of the players and explicitly to designate legal and illegal play. 
A set of twelve rules accomplishes this purpose. 

II. Players and Playing Area 

(A) Players. — The game is played by two teams of five 
men each (two forwards, one center and two guards), 
the ball being passed from one teammate to another 
as the teams attempt to fulfill the object of the game. 
(B) The Playing Area. — The playing area consists of a 
wooden floored, rectangular shaped court which is 
free from obstructions. The court has maximum 
dimensions of 94 feet in length by 50 feet in width 
and minimum dimensions of 60 by 35 feet. Many 
other exacting requirements stipulate just how the 
court shall be arranged. 
(C) The Position of the Players. — The position of the play- 
ers is such that the opposing centers play each other 
and the guards play the opposing forwards. The 
centers line up in the center circle, while the for- 
wards of Team A line up before the basket which their 
center faces and into which they are going to attempt 


to throw the ball. The guards of Team B play in 
between Team A's forwards and the basket for which 
the latter are shooting. 

III. Court Equipment 

(A) The Ball. — The ball is round and made of a rubber 

bladder covered with a leather case. The rules state 
that it shall be not less than 29% nor more than 
30 inches in circumference, weigh no less than 20 
nor more than 22 ounces, and be tightly inflated to 
a pressure such that when dropped to a solid wood 
floor from a height of 6 feet (measured to the bot- 
tom of the ball), it will rebound to a height (meas- 
ured to the top of the ball) whose limits may be 4 
feet and 4 feet 7 inches. 

(B) The Baskets. — The baskets are two in number and 

each consists of a black metal ring, 18 inches in in- 
side diameter, with a net of white cord suspended 
from the under edges of the ring. The metal ring 
cannot be more than % of an inch thick and the 
limitations of the cord range between 30 and 60 
thread seine twine. Each ring is attached to the 
backboard and lies in a horizontal plane 10 feet 
above the floor and equidistant from the vertical 
edges of the backboard. The nearest point of the 
inside edge of the ring is 6 inches from the face of 
the backboard. 

(C) The Backboards. — The backboards are made of plate 

glass or wood, or any other material that is flat and 
rigid. They are 6 feet by 4 feet, painted white, and 
are located in a position at each end of the court at 
right angles to the floor. Their lower edges are 9 
feet above the floor and their faces extend 2 feet 
within the end lines. 

IV. The Game 

The ball is put in play by a "toss-up" between the two cen- 
ters who stand in the center circle. Once the ball has been 
legally tapped, the teammates of the man obtaining possession 
of the "tip-off" automatically go on offense while the other team 
goes on defense. In going into offense or defense any one or 


more (or variations of one or more) of the many types of offense 
and defense may be used. In going into offense — regardless of 
whatever system is used — the ball may be passed, dribbled, or 
rolled. Unlike football, players may not hold the ball and run 
with it, and unlike soccer they may not kick it. 

"The first set of basketball rules might have been printed on a 
single sheet of paper, and a game played today under the dozen or so 
simple rules of that set would resemble in surprising degree the modern 
game governed by more than thirty printed pages of regulations. In 
fact, 'scrub' or informal games of basketball are played with zest and 
enjoyment without thought of rules beyond the few most necessary, 
elementary ones. Why then is it necessary to impose so many rules, 
interpretations, and technicalities? 

"The rules governing any game must grow with the game. New 
methods of play, changing styles of offense and defense, produce prob- 
lems which must be solved by changes in the rules and by addition 
thereto. Basketball is today a universal game played in nearly every 
country of the world. Hundreds of thousands of players, from the 
college man to the lad of the slums, take part in it under all manner 
of playing conditions. A single code of rules must provide for all 
that may happen in thousands of games. A clause that may seem 
trivial to some may be of vital importance to others. The question 
should not be 'why so many rules?' but rather, 'how can we get along 
with so few?' " (Oswald Tower — Editor of the Rule Book, American 
Sports Publishing Company, New York.) 


The object of this unit is to outline, rather freely, the proper 
way to catch a ball and the proper method of executing the vari- 
ous passes. In addition, it includes advice on catching and pass- 
ing a ball in a few specific situations. 

It will be noticed that in several instances reasons for exe- 
cuting the fundamentals in the manner described are included. 
This stress on the connection between fundamental and actual 
play should be brought out in these early periods of instruction 
as it prevents the formation of several incorrect and hard-to-break 

It will be further noticed that there has been a division of 
passes into air passes and bounce passes, and a further subdivi- 
sion of these into orthodox and non-orthodox passes. This divi- 
sion is made in order that, in teaching, you will make a sensible 
division of your passes and not teach passes that are too advanced 
for the ability of your charges. By "orthodox" we mean the sim- 
ple, dependable passes which are the ones most used. Only the 
orthodox passes are taken up in detail. 

In teaching these fundamental techniques of catching and 
passing, and all subsequent techniques in basketball, the in- 
structor should first explain and demonstrate the method of per- 
formance, and then, after letting the players try it for them- 
selves, he should correct and advise them as they progress. It 
will sometimes be necessary to call a halt and again demonstrate 
the proper execution of the fundamental in question. 

I. Catching 

(A) Position of eyes, hands, and fingers 

1. Eyes on the ball until it is in your hands. 

2. Hands out to meet the ball. 

3. Fingers should be spread wide and the ball caught 

with the forepart of the hands. 

4. A high ball is caught with the fingers spread wide 

and pointing upward. 

5. A low ball is caught with the fingers pointing down- 




6. A ball to one side is caught with the fingers pointing 

to that side. 

7. A hard ball is caught by extending the hands, 

fingers spread wide, and giving with the impact 
of the ball. The hands are firm but relaxed. 

8. On all catches the widespread fingers cover most of 

the rear and sides of the ball. 

Fig. 2. — The correct position for catching a pass, shown here by Franny Mur- 
ray, All-Eastern Intercollegiate Guard for three years and a member of two 
League Championship teams. 

(B) Position of the feet 

1. Take a step forward to meet the ball. 

2. Guards catch the ball with one foot (the approved 

shooting stance) forward so they will be in good 
position to pass or shoot. 

3. Forwards coming out catch the ball with one or the 

other foot forward so that they will be in a posi- 
tion to pivot for a shot or "cut." 

4. Be going toward the passer except on "cut" shots. 


II. Passing 

The following passes are divided into air passes and bounce 
passes. By air passes we mean any pass which travels from 
passer to receiver without coming in contact with the floor. The 
bounce pass contacts the floor in its journey from passer to re- 
ceiver; it is generally used against close guarding when an air 
pass would prove impossible or impractical. 
(A) Air Passes 

1. Orthodox passes 

(a) Two-hand chest pass 

1. Used mostly for short, fast, accurate passing. 

2. Grasp ball with fingers spread and well 

back on the ball. Bring the ball to the 
chest, elbows in, and then release the ball 
as the arms push the ball from the 
chest and follow through in the direction 
of the pass. The speed of the pass de- 
pends upon the quickness of the push 
from the chest and the extent of the fol- 
low through. 

3. The pass should be made complete by step- 

ping forward with either foot as the pass 
is executed. There will be a slight bend 
in the leg that goes forward and a slight 
dip of the body. 

4. If the step forward, with the pass, is to be 

made with left foot, it is suggested that 
the right foot be advanced while the ball 
is coming to you. 

(b) Two-hand shoulder pass (right and left) 

1. This pass can be used in most situations 

where extreme speed and accuracy are not 
required. It is especially good after a 
sideline pivot. 

2. Right and left shoulder passes are executed 

in the same manner, except that there is 
a change in the foot that goes forward; 
this will hereafter be called the "opposite 
hand-foot rule." 

3. To make a right shoulder pass, grasp the 

ball with well spread fingers covering the 


sides and rear of the ball and bring it 
back and in close to the right ear. As the 
pass is made, the left foot goes forward 
in the direction of the pass and the arms 
straighten out and bring the ball forward 
in a free smooth side-arm motion with 
plenty of follow through. The forward 
leg is bent and a body dip is coordinated 
with the smooth side-arm motion. 

Fig. 3. — The correct position for a two-hand chest pass is illustrated by Henry 
Kozloff, Eastern Intercollegiate League forward for one year and a member of 
League Championship teams in the 1933-34 and 1934-35 seasons. 

(c) One hand side-arm pass (right and left) 

1. This pass is generally used for medium 

length and for long, fast, accurate pass- 
ing. It is a good "all length" pass. 

2. In right and left hand passing, the "oppo- 

site hand-foot rule" holds true. 

3. In executing a right-hand pass, the ball is 

caught with two hands but, as the throw 


is to be made, the ball is brought just 
back of the right ear. The ball is held in 
the palm of the right hand and kept there 
by the widespread fingers, which are well 
in the rear of the ball. The body is turned 
slightly sideways as the ball is brought 
back. As the ball is brought forward 

Fig. 4. — Shorty O'Donnell about to execute a two-hand shoulder pass off the 
right shoulder. O'Donnell, a member of Penn's Eastern Intercollegiate League 
Champions during the seasons of 1933-34 and 1934-35, was All-League Forward 
for one year. 

again, the left foot goes forward, the 
left leg bending slightly and the whole 
body facing front, as the right arm fol- 
lows through in the direction of the pass. 
The speed and length of the pass are gov- 
erned by the speed of the forward motion, 
the extent of the follow through, and the 
distance back from which the ball was 




started. In very long passes, the lacing 
or a seam is generally overlapped by the 
tips of the four fingers in order to insure 
a straight and true pass. The fingers 
should flip down behind the ball. 
Two-hand underhand flip pass (right and left) 
1. This pass is generally made "soft and fluffy" 
in order to insure good handling. It is 

Fig. 5. — Bob Freeman is shown in the starting position for the correct execu- 
tion of a two-hand underhand flip pass. Freeman, All-Eastern Intercollegiate 
League Center for three years, played on two championship teams and is rated as 
Penn's "All-Time Center." 

used mostly in passing to a man cutting 

in toward the basket. 
Right and left flip passes are executed in 

the same way except for a change in the 

hip at which the pass is started and in the 

foot that goes forward. 
The right side two-hand underhand flip pass 

is executed by grasping the ball with 


widespread fingers covering the sides and 
rear of the ball. The ball is brought back 
to a position just above the right hip while 
the feet remain fairly close together and 
the weight flows to the rear foot. Do not 
swing the ball at arms length, but hold it 
well in toward the armpit for protection. 
To pass the ball it is brought forward in 
a free, smooth, underhand motion with 
plenty of follow through and with a for- 
ward step of the left foot. There is a 
bend in the left leg as the weight flows to 
it and as the body dips with the pass, 
(e) Two-hand overhead pass 

1. Used when playing a small man, or when, 

having caught a high pass, the passer 
wishes to pass immediately. It is gen- 
erally a short pass. 

2. The same footwork is used as in the two- 

hand chest pass. The ball is held the 
same also, but the ball now starts almost 
directly above the head. The arms are 
half bent at the start of the pass. The 
ball comes back a little in a preliminary 
motion, and then goes forward with a 
snap of the wrists and a forward and 
downward extension of the arms. The 
power comes from the fingers, wrists, 
arms, and shoulders, and the degree of 
power depends upon the speed and length 
of the pass. 
Unorthodox passes 

(a) One-hand hook pass. 

(b) One-hand underhand flip pass. 

(c) One-hand over shoulder chuck pass. 

(d) Two-hand over shoulder chuck pass. 

(e) One-hand backhand flip pass. 
(/) One-hand sideward push pass. 
(g) One-hand tap pass. 

(h) Two-hand tap pass. 

(/) Two-hand backward overhead chuck pass. 


(B) Bounce Passes 

1. Orthodox passes 

(a) Two-hand chest bounce pass 

1. This is executed in the same way as the 

regular two-hand chest pass except that 
the ball is directed down and is bounced 
about 4 feet in front of the receiver in 
order to insure a waist-high rebound from 
the floor. 

2. It is a decided outward, forward, push move- 

ment which does not include any reverse 
or forward spin. 

(b) Two-hand shoulder bounce pass (right and 


1. Executed the same as the regular shoulder 

pass except that the ball is directed down- 
ward and is bounced about 4 feet in front 
of the receiver. 

2. The "opposite hand-foot rule" holds good in 

this type of pass. 

(c) One-hand side-arm bounce pass (right and left) 

1. Executed the same as the regular one-hand 

air pass except for the bounce and the 
more downward follow through of the arm. 

2. "Opposite hand-foot rule" holds good in this 

type of pass. 

(d) Two-hand overhead bounce pass 

1. Executed the same as the two-hand over- 
head air pass except for the addition of the 
bounce and the more decided downward 
follow through of the arms. 

2. Unorthodox passes 

(a) Passes rolled forward or backward. 

(b) Passes rolled beneath passer's legs. 

(c) Passes "laid down and back" to a passing 


III. General Advice on Catching and Passing 

(A) In catching a ball, keep your eyes on the ball, extend 

hands and spread fingers, and do not fight the ball. 

(B) Always be in motion when receiving or passing the 


ball. Meet the pass and have your body behind it. 
Step toward the man to whom you are passing. 

(C) The cardinal principle of passing is to pass to an un- 

guarded man. 

(D) Signal where you want a pass to be thrown. 

(E) Air passes should be thrown parallel to the floor so 

that they will be received between waist and chest. 

(F) The individual offensive moves are passing, shooting, 

dribbling, and pivoting. The fastest and best method 
of advancing the ball is passing. 

(G) The type of pass used will depend generally upon two 

things : the situation into which the passer is attempt- 
ing to pass, and the position of the passer when he 
receives the ball. 

(H) The speed of the pass will depend upon the situation. 
Vary the type and speed of your passes. 

(/) Do not hold the ball unnecessarily long. Pass quickly. 
After passing dash ahead of the man to whom you 
have passed. 

(/) Do not turn your back on the ball. Do not pass to a 
man who has his back toward you. 

(K) In passing to a man cutting for the basket (or any 
other moving man), remember that he is in motion 
and give him a lead suitable for his speed. 

(L) The two-hand chest pass is the best pass for a running 
man to make to another fast moving man. It has 
the advantage of accuracy and control as well as 

(M) Basketball is a passing game. Good, fast, accurate 
handling of the ball will generally insure a good 
offense, while possession of the ball is the best de- 
fense known. 

(A 7 ) Strive for quickness rather than hardness in your 

(O) "Dead" passes are easier to handle than "spin" passes. 
If "spin" or "English" passes are used, have this 
spin carry over to your shooting, as one perfects the 

(P) The two-hand chest pass would be the best pass to use 
if teams were allowed only a single type of pass dur- 
ing a game. 


IV. Drills and Games Used in Teaching Catching and 
Passing (For an explanation of these refer to the 
alphabetized appendix.) 

(A) Parallel Lines and Variations. 

(V) Circle Pepper Drill. 

(C) Changing Direction Circle Drill. 

(D) Passing to Man Ahead While Running in a Circle. 

(E) Passing to Man Ahead and Cutting Ahead While Mov- 

ing in a Circle. 

(F) D and E Changing Direction upon Command. 

(G) Ball Beats Man Drill. 
(H) Figure 8 Warm-up Drill. 


This unit proposes to outline the various fundamentals of 
shooting, which is an important element in the game of basket- 
ball. Since the ultimate aim of each team is to score as many 
points as possible by tossing the ball into its own basket and at 
the .same time prevent the other team from securing possession 
of the ball or scoring, we can see that it is imperative that we 
devote quite some time and give ample attention to this phase of 
the game. While practicing these shots, remember that shooting 
is serious business and that it requires form and concentration. 
Do not shoot just for fun — Concentrate! 

It will be noticed that, as in the unit on passing, we have made 
an important division involving the orthodox and unorthodox. 
Remember in trying these fundamental and necessary shots not to 
attempt the hard shots until you can make the easy ones. It 
should be emphasized that one should never practice one's 
favorite shot exclusively, but instead, should attain versatility. 
Furthermore, it must be remembered that shooting is not merely 
getting rid of the ball; shooting is the most important offensive 
factor in basketball. It is a deliberate attempt by an individual 
to add to his team's point total by scoring a field goal or a foul. 
In the final analysis, the best method of shooting is the one that 
"feels" most natural to the individual shooter and the one by 
which he makes most of his shots. 

I. Shooting 

(A) Orthodox shots 

1. One-hand under-the-basket shot (right and left) 

(a) This shot is used when the shooter has received 

a pass while standing under the basket or 
has gotten a ball off the backboard. 

(b) The shot may be made with either hand. 

(c) The right-hand shot is executed while facing 

the basket. Step out sideways to the right 
from under the basket with the left foot 
crossing in front of the right foot. Shift the 
weight to the left foot and take off with that 


foot, pivoting upon it as foot and body turn 
toward the basket. The ball is first held in 
both hands, but as the weight is shifted to 
the left foot, the ball is passed over to the 
palm of the right hand. As you push off 
with the left foot and rise in the air (turning 
toward the basket), the right arm straightens 
and the right hand lays the ball against the 
backboard and causes a rebound into the 
basket. The form is similar to the finish of 
a shot put except that the body is stretched 
(d) It is best to observe the "opposite hand-foot 
rule" if a ball has been received when under 
the basket, and moving out to the side oppo- 
site that from which the cut was made. 
2. One-hand "lay-up" shot (right and left) 

(a) This shot is used when the ball is received 

while on a run toward the basket. It may 
be made directly after a pass, after a dribble, 
or after several dribbles. The important and 
ideal thing is to approach the basket either 
at a 45 degree angle or head on. This is 
essentially a close-to-the-basket shot, the 
idea being to lay the ball up as close to the 
basket as possible before letting go of it. 

(b) The backboard should be used when coming in 

from the side, but the shot should be made 
without the use of the backboard when ap- 
proaching from the front. 

(c) The "opposite hand-foot rule" holds good in 

this shot. 

(d) In executing the "lay-up" shot, do a high jump, 

not a broad jump. To make a shot from the 
right side approaching the basket at a 45 
degree angle: take off from the left foot, 
carry the ball up with both hands, and finally 
lay it up with the right hand, arm extended, 
fingers directly behind the ball, and eyes 
glued on the spot at which you are aiming. 
Keep driving toward the basket throughout 


the shot. Be relaxed while in the air and, 
after the shot, alight facing the floor with 
hips down and the knees bent. 
3. One-hand "turn around" shot (right and left) 
(a) This shot may be made from a stationary posi- 
tion or from a run. If the latter, it may be 
made immediately upon receiving the ball or 
after a slight hesitation. It is most used 
for a quick shot when the shooter has re- 
ceived the ball close in to the basket and has 

Fig. 6. — Illustrates the correct execution of a one-hand "lay-up" shot. 

his back toward it. At any rate, the same 
form of execution holds true once the shot 
is started. 

(b) The "opposite hand-foot rule" holds good in 

this case. 

(c) Use or non-use of the backboard depends upon 

the angle from which the shot is executed. 

(d) Before the turn around, the body should be 

well under control and in a semi-bent posi- 
tion. The feet are well under the shooter; 



the weight is evenly divided and the knees 
have a bend in them. The ball is caught 
with two hands. If the turn around is to 
be made to the left, then the left foot is 
placed out to that side, parallel to or at an 
angle toward the basket. (The step should 
never be away from the basket.) As this 
step is made, the ball is brought over to the 

Fig. 7. — The initial step in a one-hand "turn around" shot from the pivot 
position. Kenneth "Hash" Hashagen, All-Eastern Intercollegiate Guard for three 
years, member of League Championship Teams during the 1933-34 and 1934-35 
seasons, and guard on Pennsylvania's "All-Time Team" demonstrates this point. 

left side of the body by both hands. It is 
transferred to the right hand as the push-off 
is made from the left foot. Body and arm 
stretch out in a smooth coordinated move- 
ment after the push-off and the ball is car- 
ried up for the shot. As the push-off is made, 
the left foot spins on its ball and the body 
turns and faces the basket. The ball is di- 
rected as far as possible on its journey 



toward the basket. Throughout the latter 
part of the execution of this shot the left 
arm may be held up so as to serve as a pro- 
tective fender. 
Long shots 

(a) A long shot is a two-hand shot which is made 

some distance out from the basket. 

(b) Long shots, regardless of the angle from which 

they are made, should be attempted cleanly. 

Fig. 8.- — Completion of the one-hand "turn around" shot. 

(c) Good, long shot form consists of having and 
doing the following: 

1. One or the other foot comfortably forward, 

body balanced. 

2. The buttocks thrown back. 

3. The ball grasped well back with widespread 

fingers; the elbows close and the wrists 
. loose. 

4. Eyes on the forward rim of the basket. 

5. Bend knees in shooting, allowing this bend 



and a breaking of the wrists to bring the 
ball into shooting position. 

6. Be set, yet have the weight going forward 

with the shot. 

7. Follow through, keeping eyes on the nearer 

rim and not watching the arch of the ball. 

8. Arch the ball to a medium height. 

9. These points should be executed in one con- 

tinuous and smoothly coordinated move- 

■ i 

Fig. 9. — A two -hand chest shot. 

Note: Other styles are possible but the above 
form is recommended. 
'Top" shots 

(a) "Pop" shots are two-hand chest passes made 

at a distance of from 8 to 20 feet from the 

(b) These shots are executed in a manner similar 

to that used for long shots although, gener- 
ally, there is not so much of a forward follow 
through of the arms. 


(c) These shots should be banked if made from a 
15 to 45 degree angle. They should be at- 
tempted cleanly if made from an angle 
greater than 45 degrees. 

6. Two-hand overhead shot 

(a) This shot is used as a quick shot, usually when 

the ball has been received high and when the 
shooter is within 20 feet of the basket. It is 
also used on a floor with a low ceiling, against 
a small guard, or when the shooter has drib- 
bled in so close to his guard as to make a 
more frequently used shot impossible. 

(b) In executing this shot, the shooter should be 

careful not to leap into the air with the shot. 
This introduces another element of error in 
the perfect execution of the shot. 

(c) To start this shot, have the feet fairly close to- 

gether, one a little in advance of the other, 
and hold the ball high above the head. The 
fingers, and not the entire hand, hold the ball 
well back and on its sides. The arms have 
an almost imperceptible bend in them. The 
ball is released as the body weight moves 
forward so as to be definitely on the toes. 
The power for the shot comes solely from 
the fingers and wrists. 

7. Two-hand "turn around" shot 

(a) This shot is used most when the ball has been 

received while the shooter is in around the 
basket and when his back is toward the 

(b) Correct execution demands that the shooter's 

feet be together (or almost so) and that he 
bend his knees just before the shot. It is a 
gathering of oneself straight into the air and 
an about face in the air. The ball is held 
low and out in front at the start but, as the 
leap and turn progresses, the ball is raised 
overhead and the ball is shot in much the 
same manner as the regular two-hand over- 
head shot. 




(a) Fouls are shot when there has been some in- 

fringement of the rules by the opposing team. 

(b) There are almost as many ways of shooting 

fouls as there are players. The most widely 
accepted is the "feet parallel and spread" 

(c) The points to remember in foul shooting are: 
1. Station yourself squarely in front of the 

basket and then relax. 

Fig. 10. — Foul shot form before the shot. 

2. Spread your feet in a position that will give 

you a comfortable stance. Have your feet 
parallel to, and equidistant from, the foul 

3. Fix your hands on the sides of the ball. 

Have your fingers widely spread and point- 
ing down, with the heels of the hands off 
the ball and thumbs well toward the cen- 


ter of the ball, an inch in advance of 
the lacing or a seam. The lacing or seam 
should be held up. 

Fix your eyes on the forward rim of the 
basket and aim so as to clear it by sev- 
eral inches. 

Bend your knees and sink to a comfortable 
position, weight forward. Be careful not 

Fig. 11. — The follow through after the ball has left the foul shooter's hands. 

to lock the joints or you will lose balance 
and totter forward before the shot is com- 

6. Come out of the bent position with a free 

and easy motion and deliver the ball with- 
out a spin. 

7. Keep your eyes on the rim and not on the 

ball. Have your arms follow through and 
upward as far as possible. 


8. When the shot is completed, the body should 

be in perfect balance; the weight should 
be forward on the toes, the arms should be 
outstretched, and all muscles should be 
straining forward as though a heavy ob- 
ject had been delivered with a free, coor- 
dinated underhand heave. If such a shot 
has been delivered, it will be noticed that 
finger tips of the left and right hands meet 
finger for finger. 

9. The shot should be arched to a medium 

height and be played cleanly. 
(B) Unorthodox shots 

1. Two-hand underhand swing or spin shots. 

2. One-hand hook or "church league" shots. 

3. Two-hand sidearm heaves. 

II. General Advice on Shooting 

(A) Do not take hurried shots for the sake of getting rid 

of the ball; hold it or pass it back to a teammate. 

(B) Never shoot with your back toward the basket. 

(C) Never shoot when off balance or when going away from 

the basket. 

(D) Always use two hands whenever possible. (The excep- 

tions to this rule are given in this unit.) 

(E) The time to shoot is when you are within sane shooting 

distance and when you cannot advance the ball by 
passing or dribbling. The correct order of individual 
offensive moves is: Passing — dribbling — shooting — 

(F) Shots made from a distance of not greater than 20 feet 

and at a IS to 45 degree angle from the basket should 
be banked. Other shots should be "made clean." 

(G) In general, the type of shot used will depend upon the 

position in which the shooter finds himself. What- 
ever type is used, be relaxed. 

(H) Shoot under-the-basket shots with one hand. The 
shooter can get higher and have greater accuracy. 

(/) Do not bring the ball down before laying it up on a 
"hop" or "lay-up" shot. 

(/) Start the "lay-up" shot on the up part of the dribble, 



and make the last dribble rebound high so that the 
ball will be going up naturally as the shot is started. 




Fig. 12. 

(K) In shooting it is better to shoot too strongly rather than 

too weakly. 
(L) Never shoot your shots on a line. A medium arched 

shot is best. 


(M) Shoot with deliberation. Never take "hope shots." 

(N) Never shoot for fun. Be sure to concentrate and use 
correct form when practicing shooting. 

(O) In making a "lay-up" shot, do a high jump and not a 
broad jump. 

(P) Do not practice your favorite shot exclusively. Prac- 
tice your worst shots and acquire a well-rounded 
shooting game. 

(Q) A shot at the basket should be a pass to yourself. 
Follow all shots, particularly your own. 

(R) Be set on "pop" and "long" shots, and be going toward 
the basket on "pivot" and "lay-up" shots. 

(S) Do not use "spin" shots. The value of "English" in 
one's shooting is debatable. It is a good directer 
of long shots but poor and unnecessary for short 

III. Drills and Games Used in Teaching Shooting (For an 
explanation of these refer to the alphabetized ap- 

(A) Make Ten Drill. 

(B) Pass and Cut Drill. 

(C) Man on Foul-line Cut Drill. 

(D) Come and Meet It Drill. 

(E) Cross to Pivot Drill. 

(F) Twenty One Drill. 

(G) Three Man Pass and Screen Drill. 
(H) Close In Drill. 

(/) Foul and Follow Drill. 
(/) Follow the Leader Drill. 


The purpose of this unit is to explain the correct execution, 
as well as the proper place, of the dribble in basketball. In de- 
fining and describing the technique of dribbling we wish to stress 
that the act is a fundamental individual skill in basketball, but 
that its use can also be overdone. Remember that a player 
should never dribble if he can pass to an unguarded man in a 
better position. Remember, also, that it takes a good combina- 
tion of good passing, good dribbling, accurate shooting, and 
timely, correct pivoting to make an offense. An effective offense 
does not result from good dribbling alone. Short passing is the 
easiest, safest, and the best way to advance the ball. 

I. Common Definition of Dribbling 
Dribbling is, essentially, a method of advancing the ball by 
means of a series of dribbles: A dribble (say the rule book 
authorities) is made when the player, having gained control of 
the ball, gives impetus to it by throwing, batting, bouncing, or 
rolling it and touches it again before it touches another player. 
He may take as many steps as he wishes between bounces of a 
dribble. Rule 7, Section 10, of the Rules explains legal and 
illegal dribbles. 

II. General Uses of Dribbling 

(A) To advance the ball to a more advantageous position 

when one is unable to pass to an unguarded man or 
unable to take a sane shot from one's present 

(B) As a method of attack when combined with shooting. 

(C) To make timing possible in certain plays. 

(D) To make continued possession possible. 

(E) To break away from an opponent. 

(F) As a means of "faking." 

(G) To make an easier shot possible when one is free from 

one's opponent. 

III. Common Methods of Dribbling 
(A ) Using right hand only. 



(jE>) Using left hand only. 

(C) Alternating hands after each dribble. 

(D) Using left and right hands intermittently. 

(E) Air dribbling. 

IV. Dribbling Form 

(A) Modifying Factors Involved 

1. Height of the dribbler. 

2. Guarding distance of dribbler's man. 

3. Desired speed and intent of the dribbler. 

4. Dribbler's location on the floor. 

Fig. 13. — Dribbling form. 

(B) Correct Form 

1 . On starting, the ball is turned over in the hand and 
pushed to the floor with the fingers spread and 
the hand cupped. The balls of the semispread 
fingers are the points of contact. The ball is 
guided to the floor with a little wrist action and 
is not slapped. It is kept well out in front, and 
centered in front of the dribbler. The body is 
crouched over the ball, weight tending forward, 
hips down, and knees bent. The abdomen is kept 


in and the head up. The dribble is made com- 
fortably low and split vision is used in order to 
insure a view of both the ball and the floor ahead. 

V. Individual Dribbling Strategy 

(A) Change of pace 

1. Do not continually maintain the same set speed. 
Vary the pace to meet the situation. 

(B) The "away hand" dribble 

1. In attempting to offset an opponent's efforts to get 
at the ball, dribble with the hand farthest from 
the opponent. 

(C) Quick change of direction 

1. Do not always advance in a straight line. Change 

(D) The dribbling fake 

1. It is sometimes wise to fake a dribble in order to 
put an opponent off balance or out of position. 

VI. General Advice on Dribbling 

(A) As a general rule do not use the dribble as a means 

of advancing the ball when in your own half of the 

(B) Do not put the head down and dribble without being 

able to see the court ahead. 

(C) Do not form the habit of taking a dribble or two be- 

fore you can pass. 
{D) Do not take a "Pro" or "nervous" dribble as soon as 
you get the ball. This two-hand "Pro" dribble 
slows up offense and prevents getting in position to 
score. Many "held balls" result from this also. 

(E) Dribble at a height that suits your size and makes 

speed possible. A compromise between a high drib- 
ble and a low dribble is usually best. 

(F) Dribble only as fast as you can go and still have ab- 

solute control of the ball. 

(G) Dribble at the right time. Remember that passing is 

the safest and easiest method of advancing the ball. 
(H) The best way for a dribbler to get past a guard on a 
dribble is for him to dribble straight at the guard 
and then slant right or left. 


(/) In order not to curtail your sphere of action, be at 
least 6 feet from the side line when dribbling down 

VII. Drills and Games Used in Teaching Dribbling (For 
an explanation of these refer to the alphabetized 

(A ) End-line Drill. 

(B) Dribbling Competition in Lines Drill. 

(C) Race Against Time Drill. 

(D) Scoop Up and Dribble Drill. 

(E) Play It Drill. 


Pivoting is all important to those who would be adept in the 
game of basketball. Since it joins with catching, shooting, pass- 
ing, and dribbling in being one of the individual offensive funda- 
mentals, and hence necessary for a rounded game, it is important 
that it be given sufficient time and attention. The purpose of 
this unit is to outline and explain the various uses and techniques 
in pivoting. There are various kinds of pivots, but the essential 
thing to remember is that the secret of a successful pivot is always 
keeping the body between your opponent and the ball. 

I. Definition 
Pivoting is the act of using footwork involving a change in 
the direction of the body and the keeping of one foot (called the 
"pivot foot") in contact with the floor so that this pivot foot may 
be used to enhance turning or spinning while complying with the 

II. General Uses of Pivoting 

(A ) When pivoter doesn't have the ball 

1. As a means of "faking" and breaking free of one's 


2. On certain out-of-bounds plays which call for 

(B) When pivoter has the ball 

1. As a method of avoiding opponents and breaking 

free to move in another direction. 

2. As a method of allowing a man to pass to a teammate 

with less chance of having the pass blocked. 

3. To make timing possible in certain plays. 

4. As part of a certain style of attack which calls for 

almost continuous blocking. This generally en- 
tails a. pivot before nearly every pass. 

5. To make continued possession possible. 

6. In getting off a "turn-around" shot from the pivot 




III. Kinds of Pivots 

(A) Front Pivot — with or without ball. 

(B) Reverse Pivot — usually with ball. 

(C) Sideline Pivot — with or without ball. 

(D) Stationary Pivot — with ball. 

(E) Turn Around Pivot — with ball. 

(F) Half Front Pivot — usually with ball. 

IV. Correct Execution of Pivots 

(A ) The Front Pivot 

1 . This is generally used when one is dribbling the ball 
and meets a guard head on. 

Fig. 14. — The beginning of the turn in a front pivot. 

2. To execute this pivot, stop with either foot forward 
and swing the other foot backward so as to have 
it describe a circle. This stop may be made as 
a one foot stop (one foot hitting first and then 
the other), or as a two foot stop (both feet hit- 
ting simultaneously). In either case the body is 
under control and the foot toward the side to 
which the spin is to be made is comfortably for- 



Fig. 15. — A continuation of the execution of the front pivot. 

Fig. 16. — Completion of the front pivot with man about to pass. 


ward. The weight is over this forward (pivot) 
foot and remains over it until the completion of 
the pivot. Throughout the turn the body is kept 
in between the guard and the ball. The swinging 
leg is kept in contact with the floor by dragging 
it slightly. The knees have a bend in them 
throughout the turn, while the body is kept low 
and the ball is well protected by the arms and 
3. A two-hand underhand flip pass is the best pass to 
use upon the completion of this pivot. 
(B) The Reverse Pivot 

1. This is used when meeting a guard head on and 
when one wishes to pass back to a "trailer." 

Fig. 17. — The sideline pivot. 

2. To execute this pivot, stop with either foot forward, 

throw the weight to the rear foot, pivot on it 
(turning toward that side), and take a full step 
backward as in the marching command "to the 
rear, march." Pass as you step backward. 

3. A two-hand chest pass is the safest and most natural 

pass following this pivot. 
(C) The Sideline Pivot 

1. This is used mostly when you have been dribbling 
down the sideline and when a guard has forced 
you to the sideline. 


2. To execute this correctly (if you are attempting a 

dash down the right side), stop on your left foot 
and, keeping your weight on that foot, turn so as 
to face the rear. Make your turn toward the side- 
line so as to keep your body between the guard 
and the ball. When turning, keep the body bent 
over and the ball well protected. 

3. A two-hand left shoulder pass or a two-hand under- 

hand flip pass is best from this position. If the 
latter pass is used, keep the bent, right leg stiff 
and use it as a protecting fender. 

(D) Stationary Pivot 

1 . The stationary pivot is generally used when the piv- 

oter has dribbled, been forced to a stop by his 
guard, and when he then attempts to withhold the 
ball from the "closing in guard." 

2. To execute this pivot, stop with either foot forward. 

As the guard closes in, turn on the ball of the 
pivot foot and step out with the other foot in such 
a direction that your body will be thrown in be- 
tween your guard and the ball you are attempt- 
ing to protect. Hold the ball low and well out in 
front and cover it with your body by bending at 
the waist and having a bend in the forward knee. 
The rear (pivot) leg should be practically straight. 
The pivoter should change his body position as 
the guard changes the direction of his attack. 

(E) Turn Around Pivot 

1 . This pivot is executed when the pivoter has the ball 

and is about to take either a "turn around" shot 
from the pivot position or execute a "hook pass." 

2. It is completed in a manner similar to the "turn 

around" shot which is described in Unit IV. 

(F) Half Front Pivot 

1. This pivot is usually executed with the ball. 

2. It is used as a deceptive movement and also to pre- 

vent one's guard from being able to anticipate and 
intercept a full front pivot. 

3. Generally use a half front pivot and reverse to- 


4. To execute this pivot, stop with left foot forward 


(if going to the left side) and swing the other 
foot backward so as to have it describe a half 
circle. The rest of the execution is exactly the 
same as for the front pivot except that the right 
foot comes to rest sooner and the pass is made to 
a man stationed obliquely backward to the left 
instead of obliquely forward to the left. 

5. A two-hand underhand pass is the best one from this 


6. In both front and half pivots the bent right leg 

serves as a protecting fender. 

V. General Advice on Pivoting 

(A) The essential of a good pivot is to keep one's body 

between the man and the ball. 

(B) Remember that pivoting is a means of deception and 

that your deception will be more effective if you 
utilize all possible pivots. 

(C) In the front pivot and half front pivot, remember that 

that if you are going to make your pivot to the left 
your left foot must be placed forward, and vice versa. 

(D) The successful execution of many pivots depends on 

one's choice of the pivot to be used, and in the selec- 
tion of the pass to be used at the completion of the 

(E) Remember that the sideline pivot stop is made with 

court-side foot forward. 

(F) Pivoting offers excellent opportunity to display body 

and mind coordination. For body balance practice 

VI. Drills and Games Used in Teaching Pivoting (For 
an explanation of these refer to the alphabetized 

(A) Dribble, Pivot, Pass, and Cut for Return Pass and 

Shot Drill. 

(B) Trail Me Drill. 

(C) Force Him Out Drill. 

(D) Pass and Close In Drill. 

(E) Come and Meet It Drill. 

(F) Cross to Pivot Drill. 


This unit has been designed in order to give players and 
prospective teachers of basketball an insight into the possibilities 
for deception, ingenuity and originality in the execution of the 
individual fundamentals. By instructing pupils in a certain few 
methods of deception it is hoped that the realization of the un- 
stereotyped nature of the game of basketball will be brought 
home to them. It must also be understood that many methods 
of "faking" may (and generally will) include several faking fac- 
tors (the ball and the body parts). 

I. Definition of Faking 
Faking or feinting is any intentional offensive thrust, made 
with ball, body, eyes, arms, or feet (or a combination of any one 
or more of these faking factors), which is contrary to the final 
intent and execution of the user and which is calculated to mis- 
lead the opponent and draw him out of good guarding position. 

II. Kinds of Faking 

(A) Ball 

1. In faking with the ball, the ball is naturally the 

predominant factor, although usually a mislead- 
ing movement of more than one body part enters 
into the deceptive movement. 

2. Faking with the ball is usually used in passing, 

dribbling, and shooting. 

(B) Eyes 

1. This type of deception may be used with or without 

the ball. 

2. If the ball is in the "faker's" possession, it is gen- 

erally used in deceptive passing, dribbling, and 
shooting. If the ball is not in the "faker's" pos- 
session, it is generally used to enable the "faker" 
to receive a "dummy" pass. By a "dummy" pass 
we mean a pass made to an offensive man who is 
being closely guarded by a defensive man whose 
back is to the ball. 



(C) Body 


1. Faking involving misleading body movements may 

be used with or without the ball. 

2. If the ball is used, this type of deception may be 

instilled into body movement from either a pivot 
or a change of direction in dribbling. If the ball 
is not used, it is usually accomplished by using 
the so-called "Jewish League Weave," in pivoting 
or in effecting a temporary screen. 


1. Foot faking may be used with or without the ball, 
although it is mostly utilized when the "faker" 
has possession of the ball. For example, the 

Fig. 18. — Eye faking, with the ball about to leave the hands of the "faker." 

offensive man could take a step forward, faking 
a cut toward the ball, or faking a dribble (if he 
has the ball) and then return his foot to its orig- 
inal position in order to receive a pass or take a 
quick set shot. 
When used with the ball, it may be used as in pivot- 
ing, passing, shooting, and dribbling. When at- 
tempted without possession of the ball, it usually 
involves pass reception and methods of breaking 
free for pass reception (pivoting, running change 
of pace, skipping, running weave). 


(E) Arms and Hands 

1. Faking involving the arms and hands 'is usually used 
in the deception entailed in shooting (as in fixing 
ball for faked shot), passing, dribbling, and pass 
reception (as in "dummy plays"). 

III. Hints on Faking 

(A) In faking, be an actor — the more deceptive the move- 

ments entailed in the act, the better chance of success. 

(B) The man who gazes is the hardest man to fake. 

(C) Spot an opponent's weakness for a particular fake. 

Play a discovered weakness but be careful not to 
overplay it. 

(D) Do not use the same fake constantly. For effective 

faking use a variety of deceptive movements. 

(E) Do not "fake yourself" by being too fancy with your 


(F) Remember that the dribble after a fake should be made 

with the "away" hand. 

(G) Try to develop the ability to fake and go to either side. 
(H) Do not fake blindly. Notice your opponent's tendency 

to watch the ball, your feet, your eyes, and capitalize 
on such knowledge. 

IV. Drills and Games Used in Teaching Faking (For 

an explanation of these refer to the alphabetized 

(A) Fake, Pass and Cut Drill. 

(B) Pass and Close In Drill. 

(C) Dummy Is Coming Drill. 

(D) Pick Them Up at Half Court Drill. 

(E) Fake the Hazard Drill. 

(F) Play It Drill. 


This unit on guarding is calculated to give a knowledge and 
stress the importance of good individual guarding. The unit in- 
cludes a description of good guarding form and the most impor- 
tant points about guarding in various situations. The guarding 
technique is based upon a few basic rules, which are in turn 
founded upon a "man to man" type of defense. These few basic 
rules are: (1) "play the man and not the ball," (2) "stay be- 
tween your man and the basket," (3) "pick your man up at half 
court." Remember that all the hints mentioned do not serve as 
hard and fast rules. An explanation of them is necessary for 
they will occasionally have to be modified to meet specific situ- 

I. Definition of Guarding 
The definition of good guarding will differ with the system 
used. In its broader sense, however, we may define guarding as 
the attempt to protect against each and every offensive thrust and 
to prevent the other team from maintaining possession of the ball 
and scoring by tossing the ball into their basket. 

II. Individual Guarding Form 

(A) Good guarding form will vary somewhat to meet cer- 
tain specific situations. In general, however, the 
points to remember in developing good guarding form 

1. Adopt a comfortable stance after having cut your 

opponent off from the basket. Just what consti- 
tutes a comfortable stance will depend upon the 
individual attempting to adopt said form. 

2. Have a bend in your knees. 

3. Keep the abdomen in and your body slightly bent 

over and under control. 

4. Keep the head up and eyes on your opponent as a 


5. Play 3 to 5 feet from the guarded man. The distance 

will depend upon the individual man guarded. 




6. Shift your feet after the fashion of a boxer. Take 

short sliding steps and do not cross your feet. In 
retreating, drop a foot back without raising it or 
putting much weight on it. 

7. Have the body weight tending forward and over the 

balls of the feet. Do not raise the heels off the 
III. How to Guard in Various Situations 
(A) On the pivot 

1. Beneath basket 

(a) Remember that the man is in this position pri- 
marily for a shot. Play him on the side — 

^^^^^^ " -TM^fjS^Jt 


id*- ^^ 





— _ - . ^d^sSL.. _ _j 

Fig. 19. — Individual guarding form. 

between him and the basket — and play him 
close in order to prevent a pass to him. 
Opposite foul line 

(a) From this position a "pop shot," a "hand out," 

a block necessitating a switch, or a pivot 
"turn-around" shot are all possible. 

(b) Play on the side, in between the man and the 

basket, and try to prevent a pass in. 

(c) Once a pass has been received, play behind the 

man and 4 or 5 inches away so you'll be able 
to switch. Don't lean over a pivot man. 



(d) Do not cross feet to prevent a faked shot. 

Along tip of foul circle 

(a) From this position a man is best guarded if the 
guard remains between the pivot man and 
the basket and about 2 feet from the man. 
This will leave the guard in position for 
switches and protect him from the possibility 
of his man pivoting around him. 

Fig. 20. — Guarding the pivot man when he has the ball. 

(B) On the dribble 

1. Get in step with the dribbler and run with him, try- 

ing to remain about a half step ahead of him. Do 
not lag too far behind or he'll cut you off by cut- 
ting in. Do not get too far ahead or he'll change 
his pace and cut behind you. 

2. Once in step with the dribbler, try to bat, slap, 

scoop, or hit the ball away with the near hand. 

3. If unable to get the ball away in this manner, play 

the man on his "lay-up" shot. 



(C) On a lay-up shot 

1 . When the ball is in the air 

(a) Attempt to block the ball with your "away" 
hand because you can reach higher with this 

Fig. 21. — The initial foot movement when playing a dribbler who has slanted to 
the defensive man's left. 

Fig. 22. — Turning and getting in step with the dribbler. 

2. When the ball is not in the air 

(a) Attempt to block the ball with your near hand. 


(b) Descend so as to be facing the basket and in a 
position to follow any rebound and block the 
shooter off from any rebound. 
(D) On long shots when shooter hasn't dribbled 

1. Realize the offensive possibilities of the man with 

the ball — for shooting, passing, dribbling, pivot- 
ing and other faking — and advance cautiously, 
using short steps. 

2. Keep one hand up to prevent a shot and one hand 

out to the side to guard against a pass or dribble. 

Fig. 23. — Blocking a "lay-up" shot with the near hand. 

3. Do not rush in, and do not leave feet on a ball fake. 

4. Try to disturb man's concentration. 

(E) On long shots when shooter is "done for" 

1. Realize that the ball holder can no longer dribble. 

2. Close in on him but do not rush him. Attempt to 

get a held ball. 

3. Do not leave feet on a ball fake. 

(F) On out of bounds 

1. Always play between your man and the basket. 


2. Do not play closer than 3 feet to the guarded man. 

3. On side plays, give the man a trifle more room to 

the court side in order to encourage a cut in that 
direction instead of down the sideline. 
(G) On switches 

1 . Remember that there are methods of preventing the 

sometimes difficult switching (going ahead of 
block, sifting through, sliding backward or for- 
ward, and talking). 

2. If hit and called upon to switch, yell "switch" and 

get between the man you've contacted and the 

3. Play this new man until the next basket or until 

you and the teammate who has "switched" (or 
changed) to your man mutually agree to exchange 
(H) On two against one 

1 . Do not play either of the men but drop back to your 

foul line. Retreat slowly facing the court and be 
careful not to get too far under your basket. 

2. Prevent "lay-up" shots on the part of either of the 

men and make them shoot from outside. 

3. If one of the opponents attempts a "lay-up" shot, 

go out facing him and attempt to block the ball 
with near hand, meanwhile having the other hand 
ready for his possible last minute pass to his 
(/) On three against two (parallel method) 

1. When two defensive men find themselves between 

three opponents and the basket, they should drop 
back (facing the play) to either side of the foul 
lane and play to prevent "lay-up" shots. Play is 
similar to the two vs. one situation. 

2. Defensive men should face obliquely outward to- 

ward their respective sideline, being careful not to 
allow an opponent to dribble down the lane and 
get a "lay-up" from in front of the basket. 

3. Defensive men should talk on defense in order to 

assist each other as well as to try to stall off a 
shot by the offense until a third defense player 
gets back. 


4. The third defensive man should drop back and play 
the man with the ball. The other two defensive 
men then cover the remaining two men and play 
man for man. Talk on defense. 

Fig. 24. — Playing three against two. 

(/) On taps at ceMter 

1. Play between man and basket. Change your posi- 

tion as he varies his. 

2. Do not rush in for the ball unless you're almost cer- 

tain of possession. 

3. Do not crowd your man or he will pivot around you 

for a pass. 
(K) At sides 

1. Try to cut your man off from the most direct line 

to the basket. 

2. Encourage a court cut rather than a sideline. 

3. Do not play men too closely. Remember the dan- 

ger of being pivoted upon. 
(L) In corners 

1. Play a man fairly close, because he is in good shoot- 

ing position. 

2. Play so as to cut your man off from the basket. 

3. Do not play up too close to your man as you'll set 

yourself up for his pivoting around you. 
(M) On foul line 

1 . If you are the one assigned to play the shooter, step 
across the foul lane (facing the basket) and block 
the shooter off from any rebound, pass, or fol- 


2. When playing the inner position of advantage, step 

across the sideline of the lane with the foot away 
from the basket and thus block off your neighbor- 
ing opponent. 

3. When playing the outer position of advantage, step 

across opponent's tracks with the foot nearest him. 

4. These tactics are advocated as general tactics. 

Modifications will have to be made to meet spe- 
cific situations. 
(A 7 ) Against screen plays 

1. The best defense against being screened is talking 

by defensive team mates in a position to see the 
intent of offensive screeners. 

2. An individual "screen preventive" is the brushing 

backward with one hand while the rest of mind 
and body concentrates on guarding the man be- 
fore you. 

3. As a last resort switching (as described in G of this 

unit) should be employed. 
(O) Under the basket 

1. If your man has cut under for a pass and, not hav- 

ing received one, stays beneath the basket, play 
him on the side which is between the man and the 

2. Change your position as he changes his. Try to 

maintain an "eternal triangle" whose points are 
the ball, your man, and yourself. 

3. Do not turn your back on the floor and face your 

man, for even if you do not contact him and get 
called for "face guarding," you set yourself up 
for a "dummy pass." 

IV. Hints on Individual Guarding 

(A) The best method of guarding is to retain possession of 

the ball. 

(B) Stay between your man and the basket. 

(C) Do not play your man too close in the corners and on 

the tip-off. 

(D) Drop back fast on defense, and you will make guard- 

ing less difficult for yourself. 

(E) Induce a man to cut to the center instead of down the 


sideline. It is harder to keep from fouling a man 
if he breaks down the sideline. 

(F) Do not cross your feet in shifting them to meet your 

opponent's footwork. 

(G) Except in very rare instances, play the man and not 

the ball. 

(H) Remember that the man who "gazes" on defense is a 
hard man to fool. 

(/) As a rule, play 4 or 5 feet from your man. (This will 
have to be modified to meet individual offensive 

(/) Do not leave your feet on a shooting movement. Leave 
your feet to block only when a shot is definitely in 
the air. 

(K) One of the secrets of effective guarding is the guard's 
offensive knowledge. 

(L) Cataloguing one's man before and at the start of a 
game is important in good guarding. 

(M) Remember that one's guarding distance will vary with 
the position of the opponent on the court. 

(N) An aid to effective guarding is for the guard to get the 
first basket on a high scoring man. 

(O) A hand up, a word spoken, a foot stamped, all con- 
tribute to lack of concentration, and concentration is 
the all-important element in good shooting. 

(P) Cooperate with your team mates in preventing switches. 

(Q) "Talk" on defense, and warn your team mates of im- 
pending blocks, "dummy" plays, etc. 

(R ) Do not follow in the wake of your man if he gets past 
you, but make a "beeline" to cut him off from the 

V. Drills and Games Used in Teaching Guarding (For 
an explanation of these refer to the alphabetized 

(A ) Drill for Blocking Dribble or Lay-up Shot. 

(B) Single Switch Drill. 

(C) Play It Drill. 

(D) Half Floor on Defense Drill. 
(£) Play the Whistle Drill. 

(F) Full Court Game with Corrections. 


The importance of this unit cannot be stressed too much. Too 
few people — players, teachers and coaches alike — realize the 
value of possession of the ball. Certainly possession is impor- 
tant, for the rule book states that, "the purpose of the game is 
to prevent the other team from securing possession of the ball 
or scoring." Remember that the other team cannot score while 
your team has the ball. A few basic rules for continued or ac- 
quired possession include: (1) "Don't throw the ball away with 
wild passes," (2) "Hustle all loose balls, rebounds and taps," 
(3) "Try to get held balls away." Also, keep in mind that 
possession is valuable, but that preventing held balls on the one 
hand and getting them free on the other, are also extremely 

I. Following Shots 

(A) General form and procedure 

1. Play 8 to 10 feet out from the basket. 

2. Play slightly to the left of the basket, for most play- 

ers dribble to the right, shoot from the right side, 
and shoot "too strong" rather than "too weak." 
Most balls will therefore rebound off the left side 
of the backboard. 

3. Play so as to block your man out from the rebound, 

and then watch the ball and its arch in order to 
determine the direction and extent of the rebound. 

4. Time your rush for the ball. Come in hard, high 

and fast and catch the ball in two hands. 

5. Jack-knife with the ball, protecting it with out- 

spread arms, knees and bent-over body. 

6. Upon landing, keep low and dribble out to the side- 


(B) Off own backboard 

1. Try to carry the ball in and up for a shot if the 

opportunity is present. 

2. Never try to pass out from under if unable to get a 

shot. Jack-knife with the ball and dribble low to 





a corner. From there you may pass out to a 
team mate and begin your offense anew. 

3. If possible, always try to get your two hands on the 

ball. Only on very infrequent and unusual occa- 
sions is it wise to try to bat the ball to yourself 
or a team mate. 

4. Timing and the other factors mentioned in part A 

must also be observed if efficient following is to 

be realized. 
Off opponent's backboard 
1. Observe the "following form" set down in part A 

and try harder than ever to get two hands firmly 

on the ball. 

Fig. 25. — About to dribble from beneath the opponents basket with a rebound. 

2. Never try to pass out from underneath, pass across 

the basket or bat the ball. 

3. As soon as you catch the ball, jack-knife and drib- 

ble low to a corner before attempting a pass. 


II. Held Balls 

(A ) Importance of preventing and of getting away held balls 

1. It will make continued possession possible. 

2. It will give you definite possession instead of the un- 

certainty of possession following a "held ball 

(B) Methods of getting a held ball away 

1. A sudden quick yank after a steady pull. 

2. Twisting body to the left and bringing the ball down 

toward the left foot while the right hip and leg 
prevent the opponent's body from following. 

3. Twisting the ball suddenly. 

4. Raising the ball high overhead after first having 

lowered it. (Particularly good against a small 

5. Apply a sudden downward pressure, using your hip 

and elbow for leverage. 

Fig. 26. — Preventing a held ball. 

III. Securing Center Taps 
(A) Methods 

1. After having used whatever deception is necessary, 

come in high, hard and fast. 

2. Keep eyes on the ball so your timing will be perfect 

and you'll be able to get the ball practically off 
center's finger tips. 

3. Use the same form as when following shots. 


IV. Securing Free Balls 
(A) Methods 

1. Hustle after all loose balls if there is a good chance 

of securing full possession or preventing oppo- 
nent's possession by causing a held ball. 

2. Scoop up a free ball and dribble with it if there is 

enough time. 

3. If unable to secure complete possession of the ball, 

fall on it. 

4. In going for a loose ball, always put your body in 

between your opponent and the ball. 

V. General Advice on Getting Possession of the Ball 

(A) Remember that possession of the ball offers a golden 

opportunity for a score. 

(B) Do not play for possession of the ball to such an ex-. 

tent that guarding your man becomes a secondary 

(C) Do not throw passes indiscriminately, but do not be so 

conservative that your offense will be unable to 

(D) When attempting to gain possession of the ball on a 

tap (follow-up, etc.), get two hands firmly on the ball. 

(E) Learn whether your team mates habitually shoot a ball 

with a high or low arch. This will help you in fol- 
lowing their shots. 

(F) The shooter is in the best position to follow his shot. 

Follow all shots and particularly your own. 

(G) Be careful not to stand too far out from, or too close to, 

the basket when following a shot. The latter will 
cause many a ball to rebound over your head, while 
the former will enable an opponent to slice in and re- 
trieve the ball before you can get to it. 

(H) Timing is important in those activities requiring jump- 
ing and running. Cultivate this important timing 
through practice. 

(/) Never bat a ball beneath your opponent's basket. 
Grasp ball, jack-knife, and dribble out to a corner. 
Pass out from there. 

(/) Never attempt to pass a ball across the basket when in 
opponent's territory. 


(K) On all attempts to get possession of held balls, try to 
maintain a good position; keep your body between 
man and basket. 

VI. Drills and Games Used in Teaching This Unit (For 
an explanation of these refer to the alphabetized 

(A) Scoop Up and Dribble Drill. 

(B) Play It Drill. 

(C) Come In for It Drill. 

(D) Go Drill. 

(E) Shoot and Follow Drill. 

(F) Triangle Following Drill. 


This unit is devised in order to illustrate a few instances of 
individual strategy and to again drive home the fact that basket- 
ball has unlimited possibilities for a display of individual initia- 
tive and talent as well as for team play. In thinking in terms 
of the individual and his abundant opportunities for displaying 
exceptional skill and brains, we must not lose sight of the fact 
that basketball is essentially a team sport and that good play calls 
for the coordination and cooperation of all five men. 

I. Definition 
Individual strategy is any intentional act or movement on 
the part of an individual calling for a display of mental or phys- 
ical action which is considered correct and "smart." The act 
results in a decision or advantage for that individual's team. 
(Just how far individual strategy should be carried will depend 
upon the player's and coach's idea of what is fair and ethical and 
what is unfair and unethical. This line of demarcation is gen- 
erally the dividing line between a "tricky" team and a "dirty" 

II. Examples of Individual Strategy 

(A ) Crowding your man close once or twice during a game 

when he has the ball and is under his own basket. 

(B) Screening so a team mate can get a shot. 

(C) Blocking off an opponent from a rebound. 

(D) Cataloguing a man before and during a game. 

(E) Temporary screening. 

(F) Faking of foul. 

(G) Faking an out of bounds. 

(H) Various methods of feinting your man out of position: 

breaking free for a pass, pivoting, etc. 
(/) Playing the ball off a man. 
(/) Faking a dribble. 
(K) Never speaking to one's opponent. 
(L) Making high scorer play you (idea of first basket). 
(M) Close guarding throughout whole game. 
(N) Disturbing concentration of shooter. 



III. General Advice on Individual Strategy 

Close observation of games coupled with the experience gained 
by a great deal of playing will be the best ways of "smartening up 
a player." Game experience is the best teacher of basketball 
poise and skill. 

IV. Games Used in Teaching Individual Strategy 
The full court game of Basketball. 


This unit is included in order to present once again the sug- 
gested hints on the offensive and defensive fundamentals of bas- 
ketball. Try to visualize and enact each situation as you read 
this advice. If you have faithfully studied the other units, the 
situations will be clear to you. 


1. In catching a ball, keep your eyes on the ball, extend hands, 

spread fingers, and do not fight the ball. 

2. Always be in motion when receiving or passing the ball. 

Meet the pass. Step toward the man to whom you're 

3. The speed and type of pass will depend upon the situation. 

Vary the speed and type of your passes. 

4. Do not hold the ball unnecessarily long. Pass quickly. After 

passing, dash ahead of the man to whom you've passed. 

5. Never make "soft" cross-court passes or pass the ball under 

your own basket. 

6. Signal where you want a pass thrown. 

7. Passes should be made parallel to the ground and be thrown 

so they can be received between waist and shoulder high. 

8. Bounce passes should come up to the waist. A ball bounced 

4 feet in front of the average sized man will insure such a 

9. Don't turn your back on the ball. Do not pass to a man who 

has his back turned to you. 

10. In passing to man who is cutting for the basket, remember 

that he is moving and give him a lead sufficient for his 

11. Good long-shot form consists of having and doing the fol- 

lowing: one foot or the other comfortably forward; the 
buttocks thrown back; the ball grasped wefl back with 
widespread fingers; the elbows in close, eyes on the forward 
rim of the basket; bent knees in shooting, allowing this 
bend to bring the ball into shooting position; body set, yet 
having your weight going forward with the shot; follow 



through, keeping eyes on the rim and not watching the 
arch of the ball. 

12. Do not take hurried shots for the sake of getting rid of the 

ball. Hold it or pass back to a team mate. 

13. Always shoot (except on "lay-up" shots) with two hands 

whenever possible. 

14. In shooting, it is best to shoot too strongly rather than too 


15. Never shoot your shots on a line. A medium arched shot is 


16. Take your shots with deliberation. Never take "hope" shots. 

17. The correct order of individual offensive moves is: passing — 

dribbling — shooting — pivoting. 

18. Never shoot for fun. Shooting is serious business, and in 

order to get results, correct form and concentration should 
be practiced. 

19. Play all shots cleanly except "under" and "lay-up" shots 

from the right and left sides and "pop" shots from a posi- 
tion on a 15 to a 45 degree angle from the basket. 

20. In making a "lay-up" shot take a high jump and not a broad 

jump. A "lay-up" shot from the right side is executed by 
approaching the basket at a 45 degree angle, taking off 
from the left foot, carrying the ball up with both hands, 
and finally laying it up with the right hand, arm extended 
and eyes glued on the spot at which you are aiming. 

21. Do not practice your favorite shot all the time, acquire ver- 


22. A shot at the basket should be a pass to yourself. Follow 

all shots, particularly your own. 

23. Try not to take "off balance" or "going away" shots. Be set 

on "pop" or "long" shots and be going toward the basket 
on "pivot" or "lay-up" shots. 

24. In following shots, remember that most shots will rebound 

off the left side of the basket. Stand about 8-10 feet from 
the basket when following shots. 

25. Keep your eyes on the ball when attempting to take the ball 

off the backboard. Jump high into the air with out- 
stretched arms and legs and catch the ball with both hands. 
Time your leap with the rebound of the ball. If it is at 
your opponents basket, either try to take it on up and 
make a basket or pass out to a team mate. If at your own 


basket, jack-knife with the ball and dribble low to a 
corner. Pass out to a team mate from there. 

26. In dribbling, keep your knees and body bent, the ball well 

out in front of you, and contact the ball with the balls of 
your semi-spread fingers. Dribble low and use split-vision 
so you can see the ball and yet see the floor ahead of you. 
Do not put your head down. 

27. A change of speed in running and dribbling often proves to 

be deceptive and a man employing such tactics is always 
harder to guard than a "one-speed" man. 

28. At the start of a game, immediately try to find out your man's 

defensive weaknesses. Try all your tricks and find out 
which ones you can fool him on. 

29. In tapping a "jump-up" ball never face the way you are 

going to tap, but shoot your arm straight up, directing the 
ball at the last moment by a push with the ends of the 
fingers. Adopt a medium crouch at the start of the jump. 

30. Use deception when attempting to get a center tap, but come 

in hard and fast when you come and keep your eyes on 
the ball. 

31. Never stand still on either offense or defense. A "dead man" 

is easy to guard or fake. 

32. Fight hard for a chance to recover free balls. Scoop up loose 

balls or fall on them to get a "held-ball" out of it. 


33. Fast, -accurate passing and possession of the ball "will help 

make a great offense, and 4t4&~atill the best defense known. 

34. Get back fast on defense upon losing possession of the ball. 

Pick your man up at half court. 

35. Talk on defense. Help your team mates by encouraging 

them and warning them of trick plays and blocks which 
you have been able to foresee. 

36. Don't turn your head to watch the ball being passed or shot 

or you will lose your man. Play the man and not the ball. 

37. Try to intercept or knock down passes without taking your 

eyes off your opponent. 

38. In guarding a man, always be in between your man and the 

basket and try to force him to the sidelines. 

39. Good individual guarding form consists of having: a medium 

and comfortable spread of the feet; the body bent over a 


bit; the abdomen in; a slight bend in the knees, the head 
up, eyes on your man; weight off the heels, yet not too far 
forward; and arms out for balance and protection. 

40. The correct guarding distance from your man is dependent 

upon: his position in the court; his distance from the bas- 
ket; his long shot ability; his height; his speed; whether 
or not he has the ball; and whether or not he has dribbled. 
As a general rule 4 or 5 feet will suffice. 

41. Don't cross your feet in guarding, but slide them forward 

and sideward as a boxer would do. 

42. When your man has the ball, keep your eyes on it. The ball 

and the offensive man's feet are good "give-aways." 

43. Use your hands when guarding a stationary man who has the 

ball. Keep one hand up in order to block a possible shot 
and one hand out to the side to stop a dribble. 

44. In guarding don't leave your feet to block a shot unless the 

ball is definitely in the air. 

45. In guarding, never rush or charge an opponent as he can 

easily pivot away from you. 

46. Don't let an opponent shoot unmolested. Put your hand 

up or bother him in some other way. 

47. In attempting to block a "hop" shot when running between 

your man and the basket, reach for the ball with your near 
hand and descend so you are facing the basket. You are 
thus in a position to follow and still block out your 

48. In attempting to take away a dribbled ball, get in step with 

the dribbler and try to hit or scoop the ball away with 
your near hand. 

49. Do not play opponents too close in corners and along the 

side of the court. 

50. Cover your man well on all jump balls. If you are jumping 

someone else's man, make sure he covers yours. 

51. Guard the pivot man according to his position and probable 

intent. Never try to anticipate. 

52. If it is your opponent's ball out of bounds, either give the 

ball to the official or roll it slowly toward the opponent. 
Your team will then have time to get set. 

53. If you are caught alone under your basket with two or more 

offensive players, back under the basket and force them to 
shoot from outside. 


This part of the book is devoted to such maneuvers as the 
authors deem necessary to the teaching and execution of a coor- 
dinated system of offense and defense, a system based upon the 
first eleven units of this work. 

Most writers who deal with the subject of basketball give 
several ways of executing this or that maneuver and suggest that 
the reader select the one with the greatest appeal and adapta- 
bility. In the first two sections of this book we have included 
only such shots, passes, drills and other advice as have been 
found to be most practical from the playing, teaching, and coach- 
ing standpoints. Differences in opinion are bound to occur on 
most all subjects, and, as the game of basketball is one which 
encourages both initiative and individual interpretations, we offer 
in Part II just one method of successful team play, being cog- 
nizant of the fact that different sections of the country prefer 
different systems of play. Other types of play will be discussed 
in Part III. At present we feel that the needs of teachers and 
coaches of the game , can best be met by applying the funda- 
mentals to one particular type of play. It is safe to say, how- 
ever, that whatever the system of play preferred, helpful hints 
on the teaching of team play may be garnered from this part. 

The make-up of the programs for the first weeks of pre-game 
practice will be dependent upon certain things, but, regardless of 
the five factors mentioned below, remember that a new season 
should be dealt with in much the same way as you would treat 
teaching the game to beginners. Dealing with players is similar 
to dealing with beginners except that players will relearn and 
improve more quickly than beginners will learn. 

In your practice sessions take into consideration such things 

1. The particular needs and individual abilities of your 
players. The coach will have to spend more time on obvious 

2. Previous experience with your teachings and system. Repe- 
tition makes for habit formation, and fundamentals correctly 
taught make for correct team play. 

5 65 



3. The number of practice sessions before the first game. 

4. The amount of time allowed for each practice session. 

5. The type of defense and offense you are attempting to 

These sessions are based upon a "man-to-man" defense and 
a short passing "man ahead of the ball" offense. The basic essen- 
tials of this system are as follows: 

I. "Man-to-Man" Defense 

(A ) Lining up with a man and playing that man throughout 
the game. 

Fig. 27. — One of the offensive set-ups. 

(B) Picking the man up at half court. It is important to 
stay between this man and the basket and the proper guarding 
distance must be maintained at all times. The ideal distance 
would be the distance covered by the outstretched arm of the 
guard as he reaches forward and brushes the chest of the offen- 
sive man with the tips of his fingers. 

(C) Always having at least one man between all opponents 
and the defensive basket at all times. 

(D) A thorough knowledge of sliding, sifting, and switching. 

(E) Cooperative talking on defense. 


II. "Man Ahead of the Ball" Offense 

(A) Passing to a man and cutting ahead of the receiver of 
that pass. 

(B) The use of screening to shake men free for shots and 

(C) Having two men play the corners and three men bring 
the ball up by means of short passes, or "the three man pass," 
or having, as an acceptable variation, two men in the corners, one 
man on the pivot, and two men bringing the ball up to the half- 
way line and working it in the offensive back court. 

No attempt has been made to set an arbitrary time limit on 
the various individual parts of these sessions, although we have 
limited each practice session to an hour and a half. We could 
very easily have put a time limit on each drill, but we feel that 
the various coaches may want to spend more time on some than 
on others, and that they should therefore allot their time accord- 
ingly. Then, too, some coaches will be permitted a greater 
amount of' time for each session. The very briefness of our 
sessions prohibits any extensive daily foul shooting by the players, 
and hence each individual has to shoot 25 fouls during a free 

Session I (4:00 to 5:30 P.M.) 

1. While candidates engage in shooting practice, tell the mana- 

gers just what is expected of them. Give orders for the 
making of weight and foul charts, and for the collecting 
of each player's "physical okay" slip. 

2. Interrupt shooting for a brief talk on discipline, training re- 

quirements, and season prospects and plans. If you ex- 
plain at this point that the offense will be a "man ahead 
of the ball" offense and that the defense will be "man-to- 
man," the drills will be more than just drills to the players. 

3. Hand out copies of the basketball rules. Explain, interpret 

and demonstrate the new rules. Advocate a thorough 
knowledge of the rules as being an essential "must." 

4. Explain and demonstrate how to catch passes. 

5. Explain when to pass and demonstrate how to execute the 

various passes you are going to stress throughout the sea- 
son. Tell which, passes you wish to discard. 

6. Parallel Lines Drill,* for practicing all of the various ortho- 

box passes. 

* For an explanation of these drills, see Appendix. 


7. Circle Pepper Drill. 

8. Ball Beats Man Drill. 

9. Changing Direction Circle Drill. 
10. Laps around the gymnasium. 

Session II (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Free shooting for ten minutes. 

2. Verbal review of catching and passing in order to point out 

any general faults noticed in the first practice. 

3. Arrange passing groups in parallel lines and practice passing. 

4. Circle Pepper Drill. 

5. Pass to Man in Center and Go Around Drill. 

6. Figure 8 Warm Up Drill. 

7. Explain when and how to shoot. Demonstrate the important 

points about the shots you want used, and ban the ones 
you want eliminated from the repertoires of the players. 
Point out the "do's and don'ts" of all shooting: no going 
away shots, when and when not to use the backboard, etc. 

8. A drill for practicing each of the shots you consider orthodox 

and in accord with your type of play : 
Make Ten Drill. 
Pass and Cut Drill. 
Come and Meet It Drill. 
Close In Drill. 
Foul and Follow Drill. 
Follow the Leader Drill. 

9. Laps for Conditioning. 

Session III (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Figure 8 Warm Up Drill. 

2. Make Ten Drill. 

3. Man on Foul Line Cut Drill. 

4. Cross to the Pivot Drill. 

5. Come and Meet It Drill. 

6. Five fouls per man. Advise and correct mistakes. 

7. Twenty One Drill. 

8. Three Man Pass and Screen Drill. 

9. Laps for Conditioning. 

Session IV (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Free shooting with corrections as noticed. 

2. Figure 8 Warm Urj Drill, 


3. Pass to Man in Center Drill. 

4. Three Man Pass and Screen Drill. 

5. Teach when and how to dribble. Advise on correct form, 

hand change, change of pace, faking in dribbling, correct 
height of dribble, etc. 

6. End-line Drill. 

7. Dribbling Competition in Lines. — 

8. Race Against Time Drill. 

9. Scoop Up and Dribble Drill. 
10. Play It Drill. 

Session V (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Free shooting with corrections. -- 

2. End-line Drill. - 

3. Scoop Up and Dribble Drill. ~~ 

4. Explain the use and essentials of pivoting. Demonstrate the 

various pivots and show when each is used. 

5. Pass and Close In Drill.— 

6. Trail Me Drill. 

7. Force Him Out Drill. - 

8. Dribble, Pivot, Pass and Cut for Return Pass Drill. — 
- 9. Play It Drill. 

Session VI (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Three Man Pass and Screen Drill. 

2. Cross to the Pivot Drill. 

3. Come and Meet It Drill. 

4. Pass and Close In Drill. 

5. Trail Me Drill. 

6. Force Him Out Drill. 

7. Dribble, Pivot, Pass and Cut for Return Pass Drill. 

8. Explain the various methods of faking. 

9. Fake the Hazard Drill. 

10. Fake, Pass and Cut Drill. 

11. Play It Drill. > 

Session VII (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Fake, Pass and Cut Drill. 

2. Fake the Hazard Drill. 

3. Dummy Is Coming Drill. 

4. Pass and Close In Drill. 

5. Pick Them Up at Half Court. 


6. Explain the offensive positions you wish to have the for- 

wards, guards and center take. Explain the 2 in, 1 on, 
and 2 back offense. Also explain the 2 in and 3 back 
offense. Show the good shot and following areas. Explain 
the essential factors in the "man to man" defense, i.e.: 
play the man with whom you lined up ; stay between your 
man and the basket at all times; upon losing the ball, drop 
back facing the play and pick your man up at half court; 
play the man and not the ball. Demonstrate. 

7. Adopt the various offenses in "Play the Whistle Drill." 

8. Three Man Pass and Screen Drill. 

Session VIII (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Fake the Hazard Drill. 

2. Play the Whistle Drill. 

3. Explain and demonstrate sliding, sifting and switching — both 

single and double switching. 

4. Drill for Blocking Dribble or "Lay-up" Shot. 

5. Single Switch Drill. 

6. Talk on individual defense within the "man to man" play. 

Explain and demonstrate how to guard in the various situ- 
ations, individual guarding form and footwork. 

7. Half Floor on Defense: Correct individual guarding mis- 

takes. 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 3, 3 vs. 4, 4 vs. 5, 5 vs. 5. 

Session IX (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Drill for Blocking Dribble or "Lay-up" Shots. 

2. Single Switch Drill. 

3. Additional advice on sliding, sifting, and switching. Explain 

the various methods of screening to make switching neces- 

4. Practice double switching by putting a pivot man and a de- 

fensive man in the outer tip of the foul circle and putting 
two offensive men (one to left and one to right of the foul 
circle) and their guards out beyond the pivot man. Have 
one of the offensive men pass the ball to the pivot man 
and cut diagonally across court so as to brush off his de- 
fensive man as he gets the ball or as the ball is faked to 
him. The pivot man's guard has to switch to the cutter 
while the cutter's guard has to take the pivot man 
(switch 1). The other offensive man immediately cuts 
diagonally across from the other side of the court and 



causes switch 2. The pivoter's new guard has to take him 
while the cutter's defensive man has to switch to the pivot 

Fig. 28. — Pass is about to be made to pivot man. 

Fig. 29. — Passer has followed his pass in and, cutting close to pivoter, has pre- 
vented his guard from following. No. 11 has faked a cut to his left. 

5. Half the floor on defense. 

6. Short full-court scrimmage. 


Session X (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Figure 8 Warm Up Drill. 

2. Play the Whistle Drill. 

3. Stress the importance of good ball handling, possession of 

the ball, guarding and following. Explain which men are 
responsible for rebounds at the offensive and at the de- 
fensive backboard. Explain and demonstrate how to get 
possession of rebounds, center taps, loose balls, held balls. 

Fig. 30. — Switch 1 is completed. No. 11, having reversed his direction, is about 
to brush his man off on the pivoter and his guard. 

4. Come In for It Drill. 

5. Go Drill. 

6. Play It Drill. 

7. Shoot and Follow Drill. 

8. Triangle Following Drill. 

9. Half the floor on defense, 5 vs. 5. 

Session XI (4:00 to 5:30) 
(T 1. Show how you wish the players to line up on toss-ups at 
\_y offensive and defensive foul circles. Explain any modify- 
ing factors that may be involved. 



2. Show how to line up when your opponents are shooting a 

foul and when your own team is shooting a foul. 

3. Show how to line up on taps at center and elsewhere within 

the court. 

Fig. 31. — No. 11 has received the ball from the pivot man and a switch is about 

to be made. 

4. Teach and practice a fast break play. 

5. Show how to defend against a 2 vs. 1 fast break situation. 

Show how to defend against a 3 vs. 2 fast break situation. 

Fig. 32. — The second switch (2) is completed and all men are covered. The 
preceding sequence shots, showing the execution of a double switch, were demon- 
strated by the members of the 1938-39 basketball team of Ursinus College. 

6. Practice your fast break play and the defenses against the 

above situations. 

7. Full court scrimmage. 


Session XII (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Figure 8 Warm Up Drill. 

2. Make Ten Drill. 

3. Fake the Hazard and Dribble In Drill. 

4. Cross to the Pivot Drill. 

5. Come and Meet It Drill. 

6. Dribble, Pivot, Pass and Cut for Return Pass Drill. 

7. Force Him Out Drill. 

8. Triangle Following Drill. 

9. Triple Switch Drill. 

10. Three Man Pass and Screen Drill. 

Session XIII (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Teach and practice any center-tap plays you may wish to use.' 

2. Teach and practice any out-of-bounds plays you may wish 

to use. 

3. Practice the transition from the various offenses to the "man 

to man" defense by "playing the whistle." 

4. Full court scrimmage. 

Session XIV (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Practice tap, out-of-bounds, and fast break plays. 

2. Practice defense against 2 on 1, 3 on 2, 3 on 1, fast break 


3. Half floor on defense and offense, 5 vs. 5. 

4. Full court scrimmage. 

5. Practice in "freezing ball" for five minutes at a time. 

Session XV (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Demonstrate where, how and when to play the pivot. 

2. Come and Meet It Drill. 

3. Cross to Pivot Drill. 

4. Show possibilities of the pivot. 

5. Show possibilities of the team offense and urge the players 

to select those plays that appeal to them. Urge them to 
make up plays among themselves. 

6. Full court scrimmage. 

Session XVI (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Man on Pivot Cut Drill, for warming up. 

2. Full court practice scrimmage against strange team. 

3. Use the following charts. 

Chart I. Showing Opponents' Field Shots 




3) *( 



k \* 


/7 \ 


,n V° 20 3/ ■ 


J 17 Zl 2A' 





18 \ 
O 1 

^ y 






20\ i0 %0 

» # 

/zo »o ,• 

17 1 

-L 7 - 

bu l7 





© 17 

.JfCO/W tf/Uf 

Shots 1st Half 

Shots 2nd Half 

Total No. Shots 

Opponent No. 







Jones 17 







Smith 18 






Brown 19 







Doe 20 






White 21 












13/53 or 




Chart II. Homer No. 2; Opponent No. 17 











• • 








First Half 

Second Half 


Bad Passes Causing Loss of Ball 

III 3 

1 1 


Rebounds Retrieved (from both 

•r+u i 6 

III 3 









III 3 

II 2 

II 2 


Points Scored by Man No. 17 

2 — 1 3 

2 — 2 4 


These two charts showing opponents' shots and player and 
opponents' numbers, will help coaches tell most of the important 
things about any basketball game. Both of these charts have 


proved useful during the rest period between the first and second 
halves by presenting us with evidence as to just what has hap- 
pened in the game. They show us the trouble, the strengths, 
and the weaknesses in many ways. In addition, they have un- 
limited possibilities for the coach who wishes to go into math- 
ematical percentages in his "after the game" delving. 

Chart I can serve as a scouting report on a team. It is par- 
ticularly well suited for a home and home or league arrangement 
of the schedules under which each team plays every other team 
two games. It can serve as a reminder as to the favorite shots of 
the various individual opponents. Lastly, it will enable you to 
meet strength with strength, to put a good guard on a good shot. 

By using a different colored pencil for each man, you can 
link shots and thus find out individual characteristics. By such 
a method you could conclude that No. 21 likes to shoot "pop" 
shots from the right side only, and from just about in line with 
the foul line extended. You will note that his guard will have to 
play him close in that vicinity and that the defensive man can 
even afford to overplay his right side. No. 18, the chart tells us, 
likes to shoot from way outside and far in the corners. He 
apparently goes through very seldom. No. 17 seems to be able 
to shoot from all over the court, and has an exceptionally accu- 
rate left hand. He apparently scores from "turn-around" shots 
or follow-up shots. 

Chart II will tell at a glance almost everything about the 
player it concerns. Examined during half-time intermission, this 
chart will show just where each man's game is falling off. It will 
tell the percentage of shots taken and made, the spot from which 
each shot was taken, the number of bad passes the player has 
made, the number of rebounds he has retrieved, the number of 
fouls taken and made, and the number of points scored by his 
man or men. It has but one disadvantage in connection with this 
latter point in that it does not make allowance for points scored 
because of legitimate and necessary switching. However, even 
this point could be easily ascertained if experienced recorders 
were available. One further advantage of Chart II is that it is 
useful for the inexperienced coach who wishes to check on his 
judgment before making substitutions. 

As far as the actual recording of these charts is concerned, 
any interested and observant spectator could do it. Their very 
simplicity makes for great accuracy in the data they record. We 


have tried to include only the things which would really interest 
us, and not additional things which would merely make for in- 
accuracy and complications. 

Often we assign students to these charts, each student having 
charge of one chart. One student is assigned to each of our 
players and we give him Chart II. The student records the shots 
taken, rebounds retrieved, etc., by that particular player, and as 
the half ends he quickly totals his various columns and brings 
the sheet to us. When the second half begins, we return the 
sheet and he repeats the procedure during the second half. As a 
rule we usually have two men (seated apart) chart the oppo- 
nents' shots. Using Chart I, these recorders put the number of 
the player down on the chart when that player shoots for a field 
goal. If the shooter makes a goal, they draw a circle around 
his number. The dots, representing shots on the individual 
charts (Chart II), and the numbers, representing shots on Chart 
I, are placed on a spot approximating the floor position from 
which they were taken. On both charts a circle denotes a made 
shot. At the end of the half, and at the end of the game, the 
recorders of Chart I tabulate the shots taken and the shots made 
by each man who has played for the opponents. We do not 
bother these recorders with fouls as they can be seen in the last 
line on Chart II. It may be noted, too, that the field goals 
totaled by a certain number (No. 17) on Chart I should equal 
the field goals totaled by the player wearing that number (No. 17) 
and caught by the recorder of Homer on Chart II. This fact 
may be used by the coach if he wishes to check on the accuracy 
of his recorders. 

Session XVII (4:00 to 5:30) 

1 . Discuss team and individual faults shown by preceding day's 


2. Work accordingly. 

Session XVIII (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Man on Pivot Cut Drill. 

2. Full court practice scrimmage against a strange team. 

3. Use charts. 

Session XIX (4:00 to 5:30) 

1. Discuss team and individual faults shown by scrimmage of 

preceding day. 

2. Work accordingly. 


Session XX (4:00 to 4:45 day before first game) 

1. Free shooting. 

2. Twenty-five fouls for each man. 

We have now reached a point where coaching will be more 
enjoyable, both from the standpoint of the players and from that 
of the coach. The squad has gradually been pared down and 
action is now about to start. 

In compiling the contents of the first twenty sessions we have 
not taken into consideration such curtailing factors as floor size 
and the offenses and defenses of opponents. Remember that 
these practices are based on "man-to-man" play against "man- 
to-man" play. Offensive and defensive variations will have to be 
added as opposing teams are scouted and the season progresses. 
Additional individual as well as team strategy of all sorts may be 
added from here on. The extent to which you will go into this 
phase of the coaching is dependent upon the ability and capacity 
of your players. 


Before the rule eliminating the center jump was adopted, 
basketball, through years of playing, had from an offensive 
standpoint definitely resolved itself into two distinct types of 
play: (1) the fast break, five man offense, and (2) the delayed 
offense. The fact that the latter type of offense was practically 
legislated out of existence has brought about a situation in which 
only one method of offense is now used, and that is the fast break 
offense in some form or other. The variation is evident in either 
getting the ball across the center line as soon as possible or in 
bringing the ball up the floor from the back court at a pace well 
within the ten second limit of time. The reason, of course, for 
the elimination of the delayed offense and the acceptance of the 
line across the center of the court and the ten second rule, was 
to speed up the game and limit the stalling tactics of a team, 
which was often carried to such a degree that the game was 
suffering greatly in its popularity and was not even enjoyed by 
the players. 

While basketball underwent many gradual changes, both as 
regards offense and defense, before both became somewhat sys- 
tematized, the season of 1932-33 definitely placed tire offense 
under one general heading and that was some form of fast break. 
The reason for this was two-fold: first, because a good many 
coaches preferred the fast break type of attack, and second, and 
most important, because the new rule adopted in the years be- 
fore mentioned made it imperative for the team securing posses- 
sion of the ball in the back court, which then became the offensive 
team, to get it across the center of the floor within ten seconds, 
since if they failed to do so they forfeited possession of the ball. 

The most important change that favored and aided the fast 
break type of offense, however, was the elimination of the center 
jump except at the beginning of the game and at the start of the 
second half. (There may be other occasions when center jumps 
are required, and the reasons for these will be found in the rules.) 

«5 81 


This point of center jump elimination had been argued pro and 
con for a number of years and, after having been tried out ex- 
perimentally by the West Coast college teams for a couple of 
years, was officially adopted in the season of 1937-38. While the 
authors are among those who have never willingly adopted this 
particular change in the game, it has met with popular approval 
and has speeded up an already fast game, adding six or seven 
minutes of actual playing time, time which was formerly con- 
sumed in taking the ball back to center after a successful field 
goal or foul try. 

It will be noted from the foregoing that, from an offensive 
standpoint, the game has resolved itself into a situation where 
all offensive action takes place in the front court and, as a con- 
sequence, a premium has been placed on good ball handling and 
guards have to be better men offensively. In short, the back 
court is no longer a sphere of offensive play. Many styles, of 
offense have been devised and, as has been pointed out, rules 
legislation has influenced greatly our present-day style of offense. 
Regardless of what plan of offense is used, however, all depend 
on basic fundamentals, such as good ball handling and passing, 
rhythm, timing, and proper use of the pivot, body control and 
shooting. The two most important of these are good ball hand- 
ling and timing, because unless the ball is handled properly, there 
won't be much chance to do any scoring, which is the ultimate 
object of the game. 

Individual and team offense are so closely correlated that it 
is difficult to discuss one without the other. While basketball is 
essentially a team game, every opportunity is given for individual 
effort — bearing in mind, of course, that team play must not be 
sacrificed for individual display. The value of individual bril- 
liance, however, should be taken advantage of to the fullest ex- 
tent and coordinated in the team play to the greatest advantage 
of all concerned. 

We shall not attempt to give a detailed description of all the 
various types of offense and defense, but every effort will be made 
to give the coach or teacher an intelligent method of attack when 
his team goes on offense. Regardless of the type of defense used, 
the coach can successfully start his offensive maneuvers by hav- 
ing his men go to the designated positions on the floor in offen- 
sive territory. We shall first deal, however, with the offense 
working against the man-to-man defense. 


Offense Against the Man-to-man Defense 

Upon securing possession of the ball in the back court, three 
men on the offensive team break at once for the front court. 
These three are usually the two forwards and the center, as they 
are the logical men first to enter offensive territory, although this 
matter is optional with the coach. Two men are assigned to bring 
the ball across the center line, and these usually are the two 
guards. It is obvious that, after the ball has come in from out 
of bounds, one man could usually take the ball across the center 
line by dribbling, but for safety and in starting a systematized 
offense, two men are wisely used. Now, with three offensive men 
across the center line and two men bringing the ball across it, the 
offense is ready to function. 

The positions which the first three men take after crossing 
the center line are important and must be rather closely followed: 
One man, usually one of the forwards, goes into a corner of the 
court, another forward goes into the opposite corner, and the 
third man maneuvers somewhere in the vicinity of the basket. 
The reason for assignment to these respective positions is logical 
and its primary purpose is to spread the defense. After the ball 
is brought across the center line, it is invariably passed first to 
one of the forwards. He comes out to meet the pass, both for 
safety in receiving it and for protection against the defensive man. 

From this point on it is essentially a five man offense, with 
every man participating in it and every man a potential scorer. 
Everybody moves and so does the ball, and any slowing up on 
the part of either men or ball detracts from and is felt immedi- 
ately in team play. Fast moving of both the player and the ball 
means that an opportunity for a fast cut for the basket will even- 
tually be presented, and that is all any system of offense is de- 
signed to do. The man in possession of the ball at the time this 
cut is made must be on the alert to make his pass to the man 
who has placed himself in a position for a logical shot at the 
basket. We use what we term a "man ahead of the ball offense," 
and the proper move for the passer after he has made his pass is 
to cross in front of the man to whom he has made the pass, con- 
continuing on into the opposite side from which he started. All 
players by this time are weaving in and out just beyond the foul 
circle, going in and turning out of the corners to receive and make 
a pass and always being ready and quick to take advantage of 
an opportunity to cut for the basket or to permit a team mate 
to do so. 


Dribbling is rarely used in this type of attack ; it is used only 
when an opportunity arises where a player may have an unim- 
peded path to the basket and thereby secure a "lay-up" shot 
instead of having to shoot from 10 to 20 feet outside. Dribbling 
is discouraged by most coaches because it encourages individual 
play and decidedly interferes with team play. In addition, it re- 
quires the very best ball handling, and it may almost be said 
without argument that dribblers are born and not made. It is 
not our idea to dismiss dribbling as a useless weapon in basket- 
ball offense, however, but its use except at certain well-defined 
times should be discouraged. 

One danger which must be avoided in the type of offense just 
outlined is the one of bunching together. The offense, in so far 
as possible, is always spread out, and every player is given an 
opportunity to display his individual talents. Every player must 
be constantly on the alert for an opportunity to cut or break for 
the basket if he senses or sees the opportunity to do so. The 
passing during the suggested maneuvering must be sure; the 
passes must be short and certain. This short, sharp passing and 
the proper maneuvering on the part of the player who has made 
the pass often creates a situation whereby two defensive men are 
placed in a position where they interfere with one another's 
movements and give an offensive man an unhindered path to the 
basket. From a defensive standpoint, proper shifting or switch- 
ing in such a situation would undoubtedly take care of every- 
thing, but since we are not interested in defense at this point, 
we shall pass over this question here. 

Individual position play with our offensive set-up includes 
having the forwards shuttle in and out of the corners, run in 
circles, from which they break off in a clockwise or counterclock- 
wise direction, or keep running in a figure 8 from sideline to 
sideline and fairly well beneath the basket. They are not al- 
lowed to play too far in the corners, nor are they allowed to run 
about aimlessly. In short, they utilize all their individual talents 
and finesse, including feinting and change of pace, in an effort 
to get into a scoring position or to aid a team mate to do so. 

The pivot man, usually the center, adopts his position in the 
outer half of the foul circle, beneath the basket or along the foul 
lane. He stations himself on the pivot for several reasons: He 
serves as a post into which team mates may run their men, and 
he receives passes which he returns to any free man who cuts 



by in an effort to secure a pass and a subsequent "lay-up" shot 
for the basket or back to men who are in a good position for a 
"set" shot. He may also be in there for the purpose of taking 
"turn around" shots at the basket. 

The center may at times adopt positions other than the pivot 
post : At times he may serve as an additional forward and work 
out from the sides and corners, whereas at still other times he 
may operate as an extra ball handler and function from a back 

Fig. 33. 

The men we have designated guards or back-court ball hand- 
lers handle the ball until the offense actually begins to function, 
after which they become integral parts of the five man offense 
and may operate just as freely as their three team mates. 

It can be seen from the foregoing that the offense is not set. 
The individual players are allowed and encouraged, once they 
have taken their positions, to use their own initiative and make 
their own plays. Just as it was suggested previously that a player 
should employ a change of pace in his running and dribbling, 
it is likewise advocated that a team change of pace be used. This 
may be accomplished by changing from the use of a pivot man 
to an open center for cutting. With the pivot type of play the 



ball is moving faster than the men, while in the open center type 
of play, all five men are moving and both men and ball are mov- 
ing fast. In the latter type the players move in a fast, lateral 
shuttle and attempt to create an opportunity for themselves or 
a team mate to use this open center for a cut and shot at the 

Although no set plays are advocated or used in our offense, 
the arrangement of the players is one that lends itself to the 
natural formation of plays. For example, from our designated 


... D\ 

Qf ooooc>ooooo> 
<ooooooooo Q 


Fig. 34. 

positions for the players such a play as that illustrated in Fig. 33 
may readily evolve. 

Gl passes* to G2 who immediately passes to F3. C5, in the 

meantime, has come over in the vicinity of F4, who then 

cuts around his defensive man and takes a pass from F3. 

He then drives in for a "lay-up" shot. 
Another situation which might occur is shown in Fig. 34. 
Gl passes a short fast pass to G2. 
F3 fakes a cut for the basket. 
G2 returns pass to Gl while F3 begins his cut around pivot 

man C5. 

* For the key to this and following diagrams, see Appendix. 



Gl passes ball to F3 when he is in front of C5, and F3 drib- 
bles in for a "lay-up" shot. 

F4 attempts to pull his man over toward the sideline and so 
prevent a switch. 

Another example of making use of a situation is illustrated in 
Fig. 35. 

G2 dribbles ball up floor while Gl advances in a parallel 

G2 fakes a pass to F3 and passes in to CS. 

G2 then cuts close in front of and past CS while Gl, timing 

Fig. 35. 

his cut, cuts off G2's heels and around the other side of C5. 

C5, in this case, fakes a pass to G2, and gives the pass to 

Gl, who dribbles in for a shot. 
The forwards, F3 and F4, seeing both guards driving in, come 

back and take the rear positions vacated by the guards. 
Another simple maneuver which might be worked from a 
similar set-up would be that shown in Fig. 36. 

Gl brings the ball up the floor and passes to G2. 

C5 cuts in and behind F3 while F3, timing his cut around C5 

with Gl's pass to G2, gets a pass from G2 as he cuts down 

the open center. 


Fig. 36. 

Fig. 37. 

One other play illustrating the unlimited possibilities of this 
formation is given in Fig. 37. 


The defensive men playing Gl and G2 are guarding them 
very closely and hence lay themselves open for a play such 
as this. 

G2 brings the ball over the center line and passes to Gl. 

G2 follows his pass to Gl, cutting close by Gl's guard. 

Gl then cuts by on the heels of G2 and thus frees himself for 
a dribble in and a "lay-up" shot. 

The others keep their men out of the play. 

The above variations are merely a few of the many plays 
that make their appearance when the situation lends itself to such 
corresponding action. Whereas many teams would try to set up 
the above situations and work them as set plays we, in early 
season practice, merely demonstrate a score or more maneuvers 
that can be worked when and if this or that particular thing 
happens. Our players are taught to recognize situations as op- 
portunities for certain definite things. In short, we "smarten 
them up" and they are then on their own. They can be as smart 
as their initiative permits them to be. Game experience is a 
great builder of knowledge as well as of finesse. 

Our entire system is absolutely void of any rigidly set plays. 
We feel that set plays involve too many variable and unstable 
factors. Invariably, and even with the best drilled and best dis- 
ciplined teams, one man or another will be slow in getting into 
position and thus may ruin the play; or, the defensive team will 
not be playing where they should be and when they should be. 
Oftentimes a defensive man incorrectly playing out of position 
will unwittingly spoil an otherwise perfect play. 

We do not use any center tap plays in our offense because 
the new rules have practically eliminated the value previously 
placed on this part of the offense. It is no longer worth while, 
we feel, to spend long hours perfecting tip-off plays or elaborate 
defenses against tip-offs which are merely going to be used two 
or three times in the course of a game. The time can be spent 
to better advantage by concentrating on some other phase of 
offense or defense. 

Although our plays from out of bounds in the forecourt are 
not set, we do advocate that a certain definitely assigned indi- 
vidual always throw the ball in from out of bounds, and that the 
other four men assume certain definite positions when the throw 
in is at our offensive end line. As with our general offense, we 
show the players numerous things that can be worked from these 



definite positions and suggest that they be on the look-out for an 
opportunity to use these or other variations which may occur to 
them. During a session of this sort we usually call upon the 
individual player for his version of a play which could be worked 
from the set-up. Once players have been taught many of the 
possibilities of the situation, they are then given a free hand in 
regard to their individual actions. They will usually adopt the 
variations which are most appealing to them and be on the look- 
out for an opportunity to use such a play. We always set our 
men up in a boxlike formation when we are awarded an out- 
of-bounds throw. 

Out-of-bounds Plays 

The following are a few of the variations which have evolved 
during games and which resulted in either a score or a good shot 


F 3 ^ 




Fig. 38. 

at the basket. Many teams would adopt such plays and, using 
them as set plays, attempt to cope with mental lapses and that 
intangible factor, the position of the opponents. In the play 
illustrated in Fig. 38, F4 throws the ball in from out of bounds. 
To start the play, C5 and F3, who have lined up on opposite 
sides of the foul lane, move obliquely toward the sideline nearest 



the team mate with the ball. G2, acting simultaneously with F3 
and C5, also shifts laterally and enables Gl to free himself and 
cut around him and directly toward the basket for a pass. 

In the variation shown in Fig. 39, C5 cuts obliquely forward 
toward F4 while F3 cuts around him for a pass. If F3 is not 
free for a pass, the ball can always be tossed in to either of the 
back men and possession of the ball thus be maintained. 

F 4 





F yb™VC 

G 2 G' 


Fig. 39. 

A third of the infinite variations from this out-of-bounds situ- 
ation is shown in Fig. 40. 

F3 and C5 come straight out towards G2 and Gl, respec- 
tively, and come to a stop at a legal distance from the defensive 
men who are guarding Gl and G2. The latter two men cut around 
and toward the basket for a pass and "lay-up" shot. They may 
have the option of cutting to either the left or right of their 
team mates. The pass goes to the free man. 

It would be almost impossible to suggest all of the innumer- 
able variations that are possible from this formation. One out- 
standing feature of such an arrangement of players is the fact 
that the ball can always be thrown in to one of the back men 
and possession maintained. In addition, the two front men can 





c 5 

f F l 


G \ w 

v_j< g , 


Fig. 40. 

always turn and face the two rear men, either of whom may have 
received the ball, and serve as pivot men in to whom the ball may 
be passed. 

Held Ball Toss-ups 

While we do not use any certain plays from either held ball 
toss-ups or foul line set-ups at the offensive and defensive goals, 
we do insist upon certain definite positions being covered by our 

There are two main controlling factors on held ball toss-ups, 
namely, the comparative size of the jumpers and the court posi- 
tion of the ensuing toss-up. Regardless of these two factors, 
however, we advocate that the jumpers be surrounded by our 
remaining four men. The particular position of these surround- 
ing players does, however, depend upon the previously men- 
tioned factors. If a jump ball occurs in our offensive half of the 
court and the jumpers are apparently of equal size and jumping 
ability, thus foretelling a doubtful tap, we would have our men 
placed as in Fig. 41 — one man directly behind, one directly 
ahead, and one stationed on each side and at right angles to the 



If that same jump were occurring in our defensive half of the 
floor, we would pull the side men back a bit so as to give added 

Fig. 41. 



D • 

• K 


Fig. 42. 

strength toward the defensive basket. We would not take chances 
on such a set-up. 



On a jump ball in our offensive half of the floor and one in 
which we had an evident height advantage, the men would be 
arranged as in Fig. 42. 

On a jump ball in our defensive half of the floor when we had 
a small man jumping a tall opponent, we would surround the 
jumpers with a cup defense, having its strength between the 
opponents and the basket, as in Fig. 43. 






Fig. 43. 

The positions we assume when a foul is being shot at our 
offensive basket would be as shown in Fig. 44. 

Naturally the men are allowed to interchange positions. They 
would have to if, for example, the center were shooting the foul. 
The idea is to have the two biggest men in the positions nearest 
the basket. 

The positions on the foul lane at the defensive basket would be 
as in Fig. 45. In this arrangement the center and the guard on 
the opposite side are attempting to get control of any rebound, 
while the guard lined up on the same side with the center is in 
position to play the shooter after the foul has been shot and 
missed. The two forwards line up in semidefensive yet offen- 
sively minded positions. When possession of the ball is obtained 
from a rebound, or when the ball is thrown in from out-of-bounds 








Fig. 44. 







(_ \ 




Fig. 45. 

following a made foul, they are in position for a fast break up 
court. We do not employ any long passing type of fast break 
game but merely endeavor to get the ball across the midline and 
conform to the ten second rule. However, any opportunity for a 


2 on 1 or 3 on 2 situation would be utilized. In accordance with 
our general offensive play, the center is the third man to break up 


Team defense in basketball is just as important a factor as 
team offense. Many coaches in their anxiety to increase the 
scoring power of their teams spend too much time on offensive 
maneuvers. They sadly neglect defense and pay dearly for it as 
the season progresses and as stronger teams are met. The result 
is that games which might be won are lost simply because the 
team is not adequately equipped defensively to cope with their 

Many styles of defense have been devised since the game of 
basketball originated, and it will not be our purpose here to de- 
scribe all of them. There are many good ones, their value de- 
pending on the confidence placed in the particular system used 
by the coach and players. The oldest system, and the one used 
by the authors, is the so-called man-to-man type of defense. 

In the early days of basketball, when more emphasis was 
placed on individual action than on team play, it was customary 
for members of the defensive team to play their individual 
opponents all over the floor. As the game progressed, however, it 
was realized that it was rather useless to guard an opponent 
when his team secured possession of the ball under your basket. 
One of the authors, Jourdet, in the season of 1915-16, while 
coaching at the University of Pennsylvania, accordingly had 
the distinction of contributing to the game, at least to the game 
as played by college teams in the East, what became known 
as the "five-man-defense." As is very often the case, the origina- 
tion of this system was brought about by the desperate attempt 
to meet what appeared to be a hopeless situation. The Pennsyl- 
vania players were practicing with the Greystock team of the 
Eastern Professional League. Pennsylvania defensive play in 
trying to cover their much more skillful opponents all over the 
floor, as was then the customary practice, was rather pathetic. 
They ran fast and expended much energy, but they couldn't 
accomplish much. The idea suddenly struck Jourdet: why not 
let the opponents keep the ball when under our basket, and re- 
treat to the center of the floor and play them from there on in 
to their basket? It would give our own team a resting spell while 


the opponents were advancing the ball toward their basket, it 
would enable each man on the defensive team to pick his own 
opponent without confusion, and everybody on the opposing team 
could be adequately covered. Well, it was tried and it worked 
like a charm. The college players, though inferior in ability, 
were able to cope rather successfully with their vastly superior 
opponents and at the same time greatly improve their defensive 
play. Jourdet felt that he had discovered something; he incor- 
porated it into his team's style of play, with the result that the 
next three years showed a log of 63 victories and only 4 defeats, 
climaxed by the winning of the National Championship in 1920. 
By this time practically all college teams in the East had adopted 
this style of defense, or variations of it, and it continued in some 
form or other in the defensive play of practically every college 
team until the appearance of the zone defense. The latter was 
a radical departure from the man-to-man defense and directly 
opposed to it in theory. Later in this chapter we shall describe 
the method of setting up and operating this zone type of defense. 

Man-to-man Defense 

Today, at both of the colleges where we are coaching, we are 
using the man-to-man defense, and we will describe it exactly as 
we use it. Originally, with the five-man, man-to-man defense the 
defensive players retreated to almost the exact center of the floor, 
lining themselves up in a straight line across it and meeting their 
opponents as they reached the center of the floor. They had 
very little difficulty in assuming this position before their oppo- 
nents reached there, because there was no fast break as we know 
it today. Today, our teams drop back to the center line and pick 
their men up there whenever possible. If an opponent gets be- 
yond that point on a fast break, we vary our "pick up" position 
so that our men will be between their men and the basket. The 
defense is thus made as compact as possible, and cuts and short 
"lay-up" shots under the basket are prevented. 

The first requirement of the defensive man is that, once his 
team loses possession of the ball, he immediately and as quickly 
as possible places himself between his opponent and the oppo- 
nent's basket. This is. the first and most important move on the 
part of the defensive man. Whenever possible he is expected to 
pick up and guard his own man, that is, the man whom he lined 
up against at the beginning of the game. If he is unable to do 


so, he picks the offensive man nearest him and calls out for a 
team mate to pick up his man. He calls out, for example, that 
he is taking such and such a numbered opponent and that his 
man's number is 10, or whatever it may happen to be. He then 
stays with this new man until play is stopped and he has ample 
time to switch men with his team mate and take his own man. 

With every man on the offensive team properly covered by 
one of our defensive men, our team defense starts to operate. 
Everything that we require of our men in individual defense is 
brought into play as a unit in team defense. We expect them to 
have their feet, legs and bodies in proper position, so that they 
may follow their men without having to cross their feet, and we 
expect them to play the proper distance from their opponents, 
close enough to prevent an accurate long shot at the basket, but 
not too close, which might give an opponent a chance to fake 
and go around them. We expect them to maintain a proper body 
balance so that they are in position to go any way that an oppo- 
nent may choose to turn. We expect them to center their atten- 
tion on the opponent first and then on the ball, at all times at- 
tempting to prevent a straight cut for the basket and making 
the opponents take the longest way round in getting in close to 
the basket. It is wise for the defensive man to point toward his 
opponent, to keep his arms outstretched and in motion in order 
to knock down passes and to . disconcert the shooter if he at- 
tempts a shot. One of the cardinal sins of a defensive man is to 
leave his feet to stop the shot of an opponent. This is usually 
fatal, for the opponent may not shoot at all but simply fake to 
do so. If the defensive man leaves his feet, all the ball handler 
has to do is bring the ball down, dribble by and shoot, leaving 
the defensive man behind him and facing in the other direction. 

We also require the defensive man to keep his opponent out 
and away from the basket after a shot. In other words, we do 
not want him to follow with his eyes the progress of the shot; 
we want him to turn and maintain, always and as well as he can, 
his position between his man and the basket. He can do this 
without contact or fouling and prevent that ever dangerous shot, 
the follow-up; he can at least prevent the opponent from secur- 
ing the ball on its rebound from the backboard. 

The entire purpose of this method of defense, of course, is to 
concentrate the defense as a whole, force the opponents toward 
the sidelines, and prevent any close shots by making the oppo- 


nents shoot as far out from the basket as they can be forced to. 
Another purpose is to make the angles from which they shoot 
as difficult as possible. All this, of course, is the idea behind any 
type of defense, but the type that we use is to us the most effec- 
tive one and the one in which we have the utmost confidence. To 
us it can, properly functioning, meet every offensive situation, 
providing the ability of the opposing teams is fairly equal. In 
our opinion, if the offensive strength is about on a par, the de- 
fensive strength will be J:he deciding factor in the outcome of the 


The weakness in this type of defense, and a point which de- 
serves serious consideration and attention when using it, is the 
necessity for switching when the occasion demands, as it often 
will. With the constant movement of ten men in the half court 
the offensive territory becomes congested. Rapid movements of 
both men and the ball make collisions inevitable. Collisions may 
be due to the unintentional running into of players on the defense 
in their efforts to cover their men, or because of tactics on the 
part of the offensive team which are intentionally designed to 
run defense men into one another, thus freeing an offensive man 
for a free path to the basket. If there was no remedy to meet it, 
the situation would be very serious. Fortunately, however, 
switching is possible and it very capably serves its purpose. 

The main point to be borne in mind by the defensive man in 
regard to switching is that he must be at all times in readiness, 
mentally and physically, to leave his own particular opponent and 
take any other opponent who is free and in a scoring position. 
Another occasion' for switching is when the defensive man has 
been blocked entirely out of position in covering an opponent, 
thus enabling his man to break free — in which case he immedi- 
ately takes the man who has blocked him out and yells for some- 
one to take his own man. This might seem complicated, but it 
need not be so, for a player mentally alert can see at a glance 
whether he can get through any given area with enough room to 
still cover his man. He can see just as readily that his oppo- 
nent is taking a course which is going to shut him off from fol- 
lowing successfully. If one of the above situations occurs, it 
calls for a switch, which he asks for from a team mate. Even 
though the team mate be well coached and can also readily see 


the situation that is developing and realizes that his team mate's 
opponent is going to be in a better scoring position than his own 
man, the more talking that is done intelligently between members 
of the defensive team, the more successful the defense will be 
and the best results will be had. It must be remembered that 
this switching is only temporary. 

Against a clever offensive team, the necessity for switching 
may arise many, many times and it requires cool, sensible think- 
ing on the part of the defense. It should be remembered also, 
however, that there is a danger of overswitching on the part of 
the defensive team. Interchanging of men when there is no 
necessity whatever for it is usually disastrous. Switches are 
rarely necessary on cross-court maneuvers of an opponent, but 
very often they are required on direct cuts for the basket. This 
particularly applies against the pivot play, much restricted by the 
present rules but still a valuable weapon on offense. 

We have been discussing temporary switching, although there 
are times when other types of switching may be resorted to. Take 
for example a man being assigned to play a certain opponent on 
offense and another on defense, a situation which can be capably 
handled by two team mates with a thorough understanding of 
what they are to do. Or, sometimes when a man has had three 
fouls called on him, he may switch to a weaker offensive man 
and thus stay in the game. In other words switching may be 
employed to meet a special situation, but this type of switching 
must not be confused with temporary switching, which lasts only 
until an opportunity arises whereby men may change back to their 
original opponents. 

The reasons for using this type rather than other types of 
defense are that it places definite responsibility on each individ- 
ual and the coach can quickly detect defensive flaws. It develops 
pride on the part of the individual in his performance and it 
affords plenty of opportunity for slight rest periods and conser- 
vation of energy. The last point is important in a game such as 

There are still other types of man-to-man defense and it might 
well be mentioned here that, today, some coaches are reverting 
to the original idea of defense and are having their defensive men 
play the offensive men all over the court. Still other coaches have 
adopted a system of defensive play which closely resembles the 
lacrosse idea of defense. This latter method involves having the 


defensive men near the ball play their individual opponents closely 
while the defensive men who are removed from the ball play their 
men loosely and attempt interceptions as the closely guarded and 
harassed offensive men try to pass to their less closely guarded 
team mates. 

Zone Defense 

Directly opposed to the man-to-man type of defense, both in 
theory and practice, is the zone type of defense which made its 
appearance several years ago. Whereas in the man-to-man type 
of defense the defensive men concentrate on playing the man 
first and then the ball, in zone defense the exact opposite is true. 
Defensive men are assigned to definite areas, and while they do 
not ignore offensive men, they are not primarily concerned with 
those who come into their assigned territory until the ball also 
comes into that area. When that situation develops, the man 
with the ball may be played by two or three men in the zone, 
players from adjacent areas converging on the offensive man and 
helping out the defensive team mate whose particular area has 
been invaded. The entire idea of this type of defense is to re- 
strict the offensive team from moving the ball in by cutting and 
short passing, on the premise that close-up shots for the basket 
are thus curtailed. Since there is only one ball, if they can get 
it — the offense will be stopped. 

Various terms are given to the different variations of the zone 
defense by those coaches who use it and in this book they will 
simply be mentioned by name and no attempt will be made to 
describe the numerous ramifications of the variations which are 
possible. One type is known as the "3 back-2 out," a second 
as the "2-1-2," a third as the "3 out-2 back," and a fourth as 
the " 1-2-2" defense. The phrases used to designate the various 
types very aptly illustrate the positions of the defensive men em- 
ploying this type of defense. In addition to the aforementioned 
popular variations of the zone defense, there have evolved numer- 
ous individual interpretations of this style of defense. It is a 
far cry from the strict zone type of play to the combination man- 
to-man play within a zone which some coaches employ. 

But regardless of the variation or type of defense used the 
idea is always the same; to make the offense shoot over the de- 
fense and from as difficult an angle as possible instead of allow- 
ing them to cut through and secure close-up shots. It prevents 


the offense from securing the ball off the backboard for follow-up 
shots, which is very valuable to any team. In addition, it pre- 
sents a good set-up for a fast break into offensive territory once 
the ball has been obtained. 

Although the game may seem to be made drab and uninter- 
esting from the spectators' standpoint, a mentally alert offensive 
team will be able to get many shots for the basket against the 
zone type of defense. The offense, to be successful against the 
zone defense, must operate in an entirely different manner from 
that used against the man-to-man defense. Operating against a 
man-to-man defense, both the man and the ball move in rapid 
motion whereas against the zone defense, the ball moves faster 
than the man. 


The first offensive weapon against any zone defense is the 
fast break. Whenever possible a fast break should be tried be- 
fore the zone has a chance to get organized. If it is not possible 
to do this, other tactics will have to be used. 

No matter what variation of the zone defense is being used, 
the mode of operation against it is much the same. Our method 
of combating it is to send one man, usually a forward, into each 
front corner of offensive territory and behind the first lines of de- 
fense, with the third man, usually the center, maneuvering be- 
tween his basket and the foul-shooting mark. The two back 
men, usually the guards, start operating by passing the ball back 
and forth until they can get an unimpeded pass in to either a 
forward or the center. From this point on the tactics used by 
the offensive players will vary somewhat according to the par- 
ticular variation of the zone that is being used. 

Despite the fact that the passing lanes differ with the type of 
zone used, several factors may be kept constant. Against any 
zone defense, deception, coupled with short, speedy and accurate 
passes, should be used. As a rule, use bounce passes whenever 
possible and avoid soft cross-court passes which make intercep- 
tions easy and which give the interceptor a running start towards 
his own basket. Good ball handling against a zone defense is 
absolutely essential because it must be borne in mind that, func- 
tioning against this type of defense, the ball must be continually 
in motion from one player to another. This constant movement 
of the ball causes a change of positions on the part of the de- 


fensive men, creates unprotected areas, gets two men in a zone 
protected by one man, and eventually presents an opportunity for 
a shot. 

Needless to say we cannot hope to give you detailed methods 
of offense against each and every kind of zone defense which may 
be used against you. What we have just suggested is only a 
general outline of the basic things to employ against all types of 
zone defense. Specific variations within certain zones make spe- 
cific actions imperative in each case. The first thing to do is to 
determine the kind of zone defense that is being used against 
you. Naturally the plan of attack used against a "3 and 2, 
strictly set zone" would have to be varied somewhat when a 
"3 and 2, shifting zone" was met. 

For example, in a "3 and 2, strictly set zone" each defending 
player defends a certain designated area of the floor, guards any 
player who comes into that area, and prevents shots from, or 
passes into, his particular area. This defense is divided into two 
lines of defense, the first line consisting of three men and the 
second of two men. The men comprising these lines vary their 
positions within their respective areas. Even within this zone 
they cannot stand flatfooted but have to shift about and cooper- 
ate. Their original arrangement would be as in Fig. 46. 

The shaded portions of the diagram represent lanes through 
which passes from one offensive team mate to another may pos- 
sibly be made. The circles enclosing the D (defensive man) 
represent the area to be guarded by that particular man. 

Against this set-up, once the fast break has failed and the 
offensive men have gone to their designated positions it is advo- 
cated that the guards control the ball and the passes into the 
forwards or the center. If one guard throws the ball into the 
corner, the forward on the other side cuts and the center moves 
out into the position formerly occupied by the forward. This 
movement is illustrated in Fig. 47. 

If the guard throws the ball directly in to the center, who 
comes out to assume a pivot position, the forward on the same 
side cuts direct and the second forward cuts wide to the other 
forward's position. The guard can get this pass into the center 
by dribbling up to the front line, bringing two front line men 
together and then using a one arm pass. The receiver may then 
pivot and shoot or pass out to either of the forwards. This 
maneuver is shown in Fig. 48. 



One other thing that should be emphasized in operating 
against this type of zone defense is the passing lanes which were 

Fig. 47. 

mentioned previously. Try to use deception, make good short 
passes, and make them down these lanes. If the lanes are ob- 



served and the ball is moved rapidly and accurately, plenty of 
short set shots as well as cut shots will be obtained by following 
these simple maneuvers. 

Some of the tactics used against the foregoing type of zone 
defense would have to be discarded against a "3 and 2 shifting 
zone defense." The aforementioned passing lanes do not exist in 
the latter type of defense, where the men vary their position with 
the movement of the ball so that they at all times present a 
nearly perfect "3 and 2 zone face" to the spot which the ball 
occupies. The original set-up in such a zone is similar to the 
"3 and 2, strictly set zone," but thereafter the whole zone shifts 

Fig. 48. 

as the ball moves. The way to beat this type of zone defense is 
to move the ball around faster than the zone can shift. 

We, along with other coaches, have found the following meth- 
ods effective against this style of zone play. If the ball approaches 
from directly in front, the zone members close in toward the 
center and present a more compact defense (Fig. 49). 

If the ball were to approach down a sideline (the right side- 
line in this case), the zone would shift into the formation shown 
in Fig. 50. 

From these two illustrations it can readily be observed that 
the two passing lanes seen in the set zone no longer exist. 



Fig. 49. 

Fig. SO. 

Against a "3 and 2 shifting zone," the premium placed upon 
accurate ball handling is perhaps even greater than in the "3 



and 2, strictly set zone." We repeat, therefore, move the ball, 
move the ball! 

Methods of working the ball in against such a zone defense 

To throw the ball to a forward, the method illustrated in Fig. 
51 may be used. Gl dribbles to the right and gets a fast pass 
back to G2, who has adopted an obliquely backward position. 
This latter guard quickly passes to F4. This forward is then able 
to shoot and have F3 and C5 follow the shot. If F4 wishes to 
get the ball out to a guard, he should pass obliquely out and 
backward to Gl. The same maneuver could also be used to get 

Fig. si. 

the ball in to the center. F4 could pass to C5, who cuts out 
toward the ball from an under the basket position. 

A guard to guard, to forward, to same guard cutting method 
of working the ball in would be as in Fig. 52. In this, Gl brings 
the ball to the sideline and passes back to G2, who passes in to 
F4 on his side. F4 plays the pivot and gives a pass to G2 cut- 
ting around him. G2 can then shoot or pass in to C5. The 
latter can shoot or pass out to the other forward F3; 

To pass from one guard to another guard for a set shot, have 
Gl dribble to the right and then pass obliquely backward out to 
G2, who dribbles and shoots from outside the foul circle. This 



Fig. 52. 

r*\ ^ 

7 y 

Q 2 o o o o o o o o o> G 
Fig. S3. 

shot will be possible, for the middle man will drop back as Gl 
dribbles up. This is shown in Fig. 53, 



One movement calculated to get the ball in to the center is 
to have Gl dribble up the sideline until stopped and then bounce 
a pass to F3. F3 can then bounce a pass to C5 coming out and 
the two forwards cut (Fig. 54). 

Another method of getting the ball into the center would be 
to have Gl dribble up to the middle man in the zone and high 
pass or bounce pass to the center, who comes out from under the 
basket. If the two front men should close with C5, Gl and G2 
would have set shots whereas, if the two back men in the zone 

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' D' 


\ 6 ^ 

D z ] 

F 4 -^ 


v_^r^ D / 


) \ 

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G 1 i 




Fig. 54. 

should close with C5, the forwards would have cut shots or short 
set shots (Fig. 55). 

Just as we changed the offensive tactics against a "3 and 2 
shifting zone" so they will have to be changed somewhat against 
other systems of zone play. Owing to the fact that certain ob- 
vious weaknesses appear in the "3 out-2 back" zone defense, 
particularly in regard to the triangle formed by the center man 
of the first line trio and the two back men, thus leaving large 
offensive areas unprotected, some coaches have modified the zone 
and placed the defensive men in a slightly altered position, the 
two front men being spaced nearer each other and the middle 
man dropping back about midway between the two front men 



and the two back men, creating what is commonly termed a 
"2-1-2" zone of defense. 

The tactics of the offensive team must change against this 
type of zone defense as compared to those used to penetrate the 
"3 out-2 back" defense. Against any zone defense, however, no 
matter what type, certain definite passing lanes will be available, 
although the size of the shooting areas will vary. A thorough 
plan for penetrating the "3 out-2 back" zone defense has been 
given and we will now discuss the variations in attack necessary 
against the "2-1-2" zone defense. 

Fig. 55. 

With the players in "2-1-2" zone formation, the passing lanes 
will be found as in Fig. 56. The passing lanes are represented 
by the shaded areas and the shooting zones are the territories 
bounded by the dotted lines. From this diagram it will readily 
be observed that four distinct passing lanes are available for the 
first or initial pass into the zone. While the passing lanes have 
changed, as compared to those existing in the "3-2" set-up, so 
have the shooting areas. By proper ball handling and rapid, 
accurate passing, many shooting opportunities will be presented 
to the offense, providing they are intelligent and alert in recog- 
nizing these opportunities when they appear. 



The offensive team takes much the same position as against 
any type of zone defense, the forwards and center occupying the 
two front corners and the area under the basket. The two guards 
bring the ball up the court and, after crossing the center line, 
assume positions from 4 to 6 feet in front of the two defensive 
men. In Fig. 56 it should be borne in mind that the original 
positions which Gl and G2 assume are flexible, and that in 
passing the ball back and forth between each other before making 
an initial pass to either F3, F4 or C5, they may be much closer 

Fig. 56. 

than indicated in the diagram. As their relative positions in 
proximity to each other change, so do the passing lanes. 

The attack begins the same as against all types of zone de- 
fense with cross-court passes back and forth between the two 
guards. These passes must be fast, sure and accurate to prevent 
interception, because every cross-court pass is dangerous against 
a team playing a zone defense. They are fatal if intercepted 
by either of the two front-line defense men; after such an inter- 
ception, these men usually get a straight, unimpeded path to the 
basket. However, assuming that the passing between these 
guards is as it should be, the constant travel of the ball back and 
forth causes the defensive men to shift their positions and leave 
a section of their zone unguarded. This opens the lanes for quick 


passes ahead to offensive team mates. Once the ball has been 
passed into the back defense areas, all passes from that point on 
must be made rapidly and accurately. The faster the ball 
travels, the more the defensive men are handicapped, because 
they have little time to adjust themselves to stop the offensive 
play. All types of passes are possible, but it is against this type 
of defense that bounce passes can best be used. Defensive areas 
will be constantly enlarging and contracting as a result of the 
movements of the men protecting them and good logical shots 
may be had. 

To illustrate: Gl passes to C5 in the X3 area, and the de- 
fensive man D2 comes out and attempts to stop the shot. F3 
moves rapidly through the enlarged area X2 and gets a pass from 
C5 for a close shot. If Dl should move over to stop F3's shot, 
then the ball may be passed to F4 who comes toward the basket 
through area X4. It should be noted that the XI and X2 areas 
are also available for shooting, although due to the angles they 
are not as good as the X3, X4, and XS areas. However, against 
this type of defense it is advisable to take shots in these areas 
(XI and X2) because it separates defensive men Dl and D2 
and enlarges the X3 area. The defense should be forced by the 
offensive team to spread as much as possible at all times against 
zone defense. It is a good idea to have your most accurate 
shooters shoot from XI and X2 areas. 

Another series of passes may be made as follows: Gl passes 
to F3 in area X5 and G2 speeds into area X3 and receives a 
pass from F3. It is then possible for G2 to shoot, or if he is 
prevented from doing so by the defensive man D2, he may pass 
to C5, who by this time has changed his position and is back of 
D2 in defensive zone area X2. Sometimes D3 will be found on 
the foul line in the center of area X3. Now, when CS receives 
the pass, he has an option of turning and shooting or he may 
pass to F4 in areas XI and X4 or to F3 in areas X2 and X5. 

These illustrate only a few of the passes which are possible 
against this type of zone defense. Innumerable others may be 
utilized, although nothing much new will be added to the offen- 
sive attack. They may start from the opposite side of the court 
with the same effectiveness as shown in the diagram, and the 
results will be the same. Scoring opportunities, and many of 
them, will be presented, and it is up to the offensive team to take 
advantage of every opportunity. 



Another type of zone defense is the so-called "2 out-3 back" 
defense. Every type of zone defense creates definite shooting 
areas for the offense. An excellent method of attack against 
the "2 out-3 back" defense is that of taking long shots and 
follow ups. 

The floor set-up of the offensive team against the "2 out- 
3 back" defense is shown in Fig. 57. The passing lanes against 
the other types of zone defense are obviously not open when the 
" 2 out-3 back" type of defense is used. Consequently, no at- 
tempt is made to do any concentrated passing against it. 

Fig. 57. 

In this plan of attack no men are sent up front, but long 
shots and follow-up shots are taken as soon as the defense stops 
the offense. These shots are taken by offensive men in specified 
positions after crossing the center line. The shots are followed 
by the shooter and two of his team mates, with the idea of get- 
ting the ball on its rebound from the backboard. There is hardly 
any chance whatever of interception in this type of attack. 

As an illustration, it will be seen that shooting areas X3, X4, 
and XS have been created, due to the zone positions of the de- 
fensive men. In the diagram, either F3, F4, or C5 can take the 
long shot, but we will assume that C5, the middle man, has taken 
it. After shooting, he will advance to a point 8 or 10 feet in 


front of the basket. F4 will advance about the same distance 
forward to the left of the basket. F3 will make the same move- 
ment forward to the opposite side of the basket. These two 
men, F3 and F4, who have followed for the rebound, should be 
tall and agile and the best follow-up shots on the team. Gl and 
G2 have also advanced after the three front men have gone 
through the defense and they serve a double purpose in that 
they are in excellent defensive positions in case F3, F4, or C5 
do not secure the rebounds. Likewise, they may secure a pass 
from either of those three team mates who get the ball on the 
rebound but who are not in position to make a follow-up shot. 
If Gl or G2 gets the pass and shoots, F3 and F4 again follow 
for the rebound. 

Some coaches may be skeptical of this type of attack, for the 
reason that they ordinarily discourage long shots and also the 
fact that teams may have nights when their long shooting is 
either good or bad. In spite of these objections, however, the 
plan is good if it is carried out coolly and deliberately. The 
work under the basket must also be carried out efficiently. 

The attacking team may use either a fast or slow break 
offense, and the players advance as far as possible before shoot- 
ing. Best of all, this type of attack is very good from a defen- 
sive standpoint, because the offensive men are in very good de- 
fensive positions in case their team does not secure the rebound. 

Against all types of zone defense, however, certain defensive 
precautions on the part of the offensive team may well be ob- 
served. It is usually best to keep two men back to handle the 
ball and to prevent the fast breaking forward from getting be- 
hind them once the defensive team has gotten possession of the 
ball. These two men should never go through for shots except 
on clear cuts. They should not delay to follow shots, either their 
own or their team mate's, before getting back to their ball hand- 
ling position. 

One "sure fire" aid in the destruction of the zone is the ability 
of the offense to make "set" shots. A compactly organized zone 
may be spread by successful shooting from the outside. Success- 
ful shooting from the outside cannot be ignored by a zone defense. 
They will have to spread their defense and come out and attempt 
to block such shots. This spreading will of necessity weaken the 
zone's effectiveness against the "short shot" type of offensive 
play and the desired result is thus obtained. 


Many offensive opportunities will arise if the offense is alert 
in its movement of the ball. The middle man of the zone may 
be pulled completely out of position, opening up the center lane — 
which will then and only then present an opportunity for cuts 
straight down the center and directly for the basket. 

A further disadvantage of the zone type of defense is that, 
when the offensive team secures a safe or commanding lead, 
they are in a position where they force the defensive team to 
desert the zone and come out after them. Once this is accom- 
plished, the offense is in a position where it can operate along 
its own lines. An additional advantage is that teams used to 
operating under a zone type of defense find it very difficult to 
change over to the man-to-man style of play and still do an 
effective job. 

Different ideas will always prevail, of course, in regard to the 
proper plan to follow in doing anything, but with all the argu- 
ments pro and con relative to the merits of the man-to-man and 
zone type of defense, we are definitely committed to the man-to- 
man type and heartily recommend its use. 


The most important factor in coaching basketball is undoubt- 
edly simplicity. This applies to college, as well as to high school 
and grammar school, basketball. Boys are first of all acquiring 
an education and basketball should be regarded simply as one 
of the many activities of the boy in school or college. It is too 
much to expect them to learn several offenses and defenses in 
a few months and do much with any of them, and yet that is 
exactly what many high school and college coaches expect and 
attempt. They often later appear to be at a loss as to why they 
have not had a better season. 

Unlike football, no basketball coach has stamped his name on 
any particular type of offense or defense and, consequently, a 
basketball coach has many sources from which to get ideas. 
What he should do is to organize his ideas into a harmonious 
system and adapt them to the material available. Each player 
should have something definite to do, but the work of all should 
be related and merge into unified team play. 

Basketball requires, of both coaches and players, unlimited 
patience and practice in perfecting even the simplest fundamen- 
tals. It is therefore essential that the coach be simple and direct 
and thorough so that everyone on the squad understands exactly 
what is required and why it is being done. The player should not 
be confused with more than he can absorb, for it is much better 
to have a few things learned well than many things only half 


One of the most vital factors in basketball is proper condi- 
tioning, and the coach should realize the importance of this factor 
because it will have a great bearing on the success of his team. 
In fact this is so paramount that it means more than the quality 
of his material. One of the greatest dangers, especially on the 
part of the new or inexperienced coach, is the tendency to over- 
work his men. Once good physical condition has been attained, 
long and strenuous practice sessions should be discontinued. 



Naturally it will be somewhat difficult for the inexperienced coach 
to recognize when he should ease up in his practice sessions, and 
over-training almost always occurs because of his desire to do a 
conscientious job and turn out a winning team. As a matter of 
fact, basketball, because of the type of game and the long season, 
finds teams and squads more over-trained than under-trained, 
and this applies to experienced as well as to inexperienced coaches. 
Fortunately, there are danger signals regarding over-training 
which every sensible coach will observe, and if he uses his intelli- 
gence and takes advantage of warnings, he should have no trouble 
in maintaining his squad in proper condition. 

This brings us to the point where it must be emphasized that 
proper conditioning means more than perfect physical condition, 
and a new factor is brought to our attention: This is the matter 
of mental fitness, and it is of the utmost importance. These two 
factors, physical and mental fitness, are so closely related, how- 
ever, that it is difficult to discuss one without the other. The 
vital thing to realize is that the player must first be in fine shape 
physically in order to attain the proper mental condition. To 
be in a mental state where he can function as he should, a player 
should get the right amount of sleep, he should be as free from 
worry as possible, and practice sessions should be made interest- 
ing and instructive. To sum it all up, a player in the proper 
physical and mental condition should want to continue practice 
after the session is over. He should look forward to the next 
practice session and eagerly await the chance to perform in the 
actual game. 

Now for the danger points that the coach must look for as 
regards over-training: When players are listless in practice and 
do not respond quickly to assignments, when they dread the next 
practice session, when as a team they are being outplayed in 
close games, and when after starting the season in fine shape they 
begin to lose steadily half way through or toward the close of the 
season, the answer, all other things being equal, may be right in 
the coach's hands and that answer is over-training. It is all 
right for the coach to work seriously and do a conscientious job, 
but he should realize the danger that lies in over-training and that, 
in the final analysis, under-training in basketball is better than 

Some coaches, in an endeavor to attain what they feel will be 
proper conditioning, sometimes have their squads engage in some 


form of exercise which is entirely foreign to basketball and what 
it requires, but which they feel will be beneficial. This exercise 
usually consists of drills of some sort along the lines of calis- 
thenics or outdoor track work, the latter mainly to develop the 
wind and to "increase the players' endurance. However, since 
basketball is a game of fast breaks and sudden stops, turns and 
pivots, it is so strenuous in itself that all the practice time possible 
should be spent with the ball and any outside work should be 
discouraged as practically useless and even harmful. In our own 
experience in coaching, and as has been the case also with many 
other coaches, we can take a man who has just finished a stren- 
uous football season and is in perfect condition for the playing 
of that game, and in five minutes, uninterrupted drill in basket- 
ball scrimmage will have him practically "all in" and unable to 

. Unless the coach is careful in his early season practice ses- 
sions, therefore, much harm may be done because of the fact that 
candidates will report in radically different physical conditions. 
Some will have done nothing in the way of exercise or condition- 
ing from one season to another; others will have worked out 
somewhere long before the official call for the initial practice is 
made. The coach must realize and be aware of this fact and be 
governed in his actions accordingly. It must be borne in mind 
that all who report are eager to make the squad, else they would 
not be out for it. The best guide for the coach should be a weight 
chart, from which he will know just what each man is doing in 
maintaining his proper weight. He will thus be guided in the 
proper amount of work for different individuals. This is one of 
the very best gauges for the coach as regards condition and it 
eliminates a lot of guesswork as to whether a man is right phys- 
ically or not. 

The eagerness of the squad, their enthusiasm and their desire 
to make the team, is only natural and it is absolutely necessary 
in developing a winning team and having a successful season. 
However, the coach must not be carried away by this evidence 
of spirit; he must go slowly at the start and gradually lengthen 
his program, realizing that there is a long, strenuous season ahead 
and that he must not handicap any of the candidates by holding 
exhaustive, too-lengthy practice sessions in the beginning. Right 
from the beginning, therefore, make the practice sessions inter- 
esting and cut your work short each day so that the boys would 


like to continue. You must not allow them to do this, however, 
after you have once closed your practice session. 


The matter of proper supervision is an important one and 
the squad should never be allowed to work out unless it is prop- 
erly supervised. The members of a basketball squad should in 
so far as possible be kept busy every minute they are on the 
floor and as much variation as possible should be made in the 
work required of them. Short, snappy practices, with everybody 
doing something constructive and helpful and with the athlete 
enthusiastic and eager, are much better than lengthy, drawn-out 
practices where half the squad is idle half the time, where interest 
declines, and when all the element of fun and play is missing. 
In such cases the player is anxious for practice to end; he wants 
to get away from it instead of wanting to continue and looking 
forward to the next practice session, which is the ideal mental 

In this matter of supervision it is well to bear in mind that 
the coach should not play while coaching. A number of impor- 
tant factors should influence this decision: In the first place, if 
the coach does not have his old time speed and if he has become 
somewhat awkward, he will show to great disadvantage and his 
prestige with his players will suffer greatly. Secondly, basket- 
ball being the type of game that it is, it is unwise even for the 
younger, more active coach to play against the boys he is coach- 
ing, for hard feelings often develop as a result of natural human 
desires on the part of both players and coach to excel. Lastly, 
and most important, it is of course impossible for a coach to play 
and at the same time exercise the supervision he should over the 
entire squad which is engaged in the scrimmage. 

Now the matter of demonstration is quite another matter and 
should receive the serious thought and consideration of the coach. 
Some coaches like to put on a uniform while coaching, and while 
this is a matter of choice, our suggestion is an old pair of slacks, 
rubber soled shoes, and a woolen jacket which allows plenty of 
room for free arm movement. In the first place, the coach should 
know the technique of all phases of offense and defense, and if 
he is able to execute the proper movements skillfully, he should 
by all means do so. But if he has lost this ability to coordinate, 
to demonstrate smoothly, and instead is awkward and ungraceful 


in his movements, he should restrain from all demonstration 
whether with or without the ball. Prestige with your squad is 
most important and nothing should be done which will break it 
down. This likewise applies to officiating in daily practice scrim- 
mages, for the coach must be watching the movements of indi- 
vidual players and not the ball, which is the main concern of the 
referee. It is better to have a student manager toss up and 
handle the ball in order that you will be able to concentrate on 
individual actions and faults, be able to make suggestions and 
corrections, and be able to watch ten men instead of one. 

Also important in the matter of supervision is teaching your 
squad along systematic, logical lines. With many coaches, and 
especially the inexperienced ones, there is a tendency to spend 
the first three weeks or month on fundamentals to the exclusion 
of everything else and then to forget these fundamentals and con- 
centrate on developing systems of offensive and defensive play. 
All basketball is based on well-grounded fundamentals, but these 
should be stressed and taught in the order in which they will be 
needed. After the season has well advanced too often a player 
will fall down on one of the simplest fundamentals because of the 
fact that the coach wasted both his time and that of his players 
by teaching some things at the wrong time. Attention to this 
vital point will avoid a situation, where, in the advanced season, 
the coach may find himself puzzled and chagrined as to just why 
his team isn't functioning properly. 

Players should not be asked to practice too long something 
which the coach is giving them for the first time. Five to ten 
minutes is sufficient at each practice session, and you, as a coach, 
should be satisfied in seeing that the players first grasp the idea 
of what they are to do. After you have accomplished this, a 
longer practice will bring the proper timing and speed, so that 
you will be able to get the maximum ability out of your squad. 
Likewise, as in all other forms of teaching, some will grasp new 
ideas more quickly than others, and your practice must be regu- 
lated accordingly. You will have to regulate your work accord- 
ing to the slowest members (mentally and physically) on the 

It will be well also to confine the new things which you give 
your squad to a limited number, say three or four a week. This 
is beneficial in a number of ways because, while it will not give 
your squad all the polish or finesse you would like to see early, 


it will help to prevent them from going stale (ever a bug-a-boo 
in basketball) and you will hold their interest and enthusiasm 
because of the fact that they are always getting something new. 
It should probably be stated at this point that this practice should 
be followed up to about the middle of the season. After that 
time, unless all your work has been well grounded, it very likely 
won't make much difference what you do. 

Remember that no matter how well you may be equipped in 
your knowledge of the game and no matter how well you may 
be able to impart it, the boy you are coaching can only absorb 
so much. Everything should be as simple as possible, and no 
matter how simple it may appear to you, it may be difficult for 
him, and you should govern yourself accordingly. You will be 
asking yourself many questions, and invariably you will have the 
answers within yourself. As an illustration, you may ask your- 
self, "When has a boy learned a fundamental?" and the answer 
will be, "When it has become so much a habit that he will per- 
form it automatically, without thinking about it, at the right 
time and the right place in the game." 

The matter of too much practice has been mentioned but has 
not been stressed in detail. Up to a certain point players will 
improve steadily with practice. But they will also reach a point 
where they are at a peak, and from that point on they will go the 
other way. Staleness will develop because they have arrived at 
the point where they are mentally and physically "stagnant." 
The coach, though he may not realize it, is the cause of this con- 
dition, and if he is smart enough to recognize it, it will work 
greatly to his advantage. He would do well to get the boys en- 
tirely away from basketball for a day or two; or if he has been 
holding daily sessions, to make a change and only hold practice 
every other day. He has tried to crowd too much into too brief 
a time, and he has been coaching basketball to the detriment of 
the team. Again it cannot be stressed too strongly that under- 
coaching is better than over-coaching. 

Long practice sessions, heavy schedules, worry, monotony, 
and in general too much basketball, will therefore cause staleness. 
One of the most frequent excuses for defeat, and one usually 
accepted as legitimate by his friends and well wishers, is that his 
team "went stale." But this is an exceedingly rash statement to 
make to those who understand the facts and realize that staleness 
is invariably the fault of the coach alone. 



When a man joins an athletic squad, in any sport, it is taken 
for granted that he is prepared to make personal sacrifices and 
deny himself many of the social activities and pleasures which 
other students enjoy. This understanding between the player 
and the coach will make unnecessary any set training rules. No 
coach wants to make a detective of himself in this respect; nor 
does he want any members of the squad carrying tales to him 
about the conduct of others. Proper training is a matter of will 
power, especially in these days when smoking in particular may 
be indulged in by every member of a family, male and female. 
The same thing may apply to alcoholic drinks or to over-indul- 
gence in eating. 

The main thing to bear in mind is that no boy can function 
to his fullest capacity unless he is doing everything possible to 
put himself in the best possible physical condition. Basketball 
is hard and strenuous, and condition counts more in this game 
than perhaps in any other. But the thought in the mind of the 
coach should be that every boy is doing everything he can to put 
himself in the best physical condition because he wants to and 
not because he has to. Against weak competition, the player 
who has not conditioned himself properly may deceive both him- 
self and others, but when the going gets tough, he will find that 
he has deceived himself most of all, and he should be replaced 
by a player of less ability but one who is conscientious and has 
kept himself in the best possible physical shape. Outsiders some- 
times have more influence over a player than the coach, and 
when this situation occurs, nothing much can be done about it. 
While their influence may not be bad, at least the player's inter- 
est is divided, and anybody who is out for a team of course owes 
his all to that team, to the exclusion of everything else. 

Diet. — It is well to keep in mind the question of eating. Some 
players will actually deny themselves food to the point where 
it seriously impairs their physical well being, while others will 
over-eat, sometimes in a desire to strengthen themselves and in 
other cases simply as a result of insufficient will power to resist 
the good food which is placed before them. Plenty of wholesome 
food is good, but over-indulgence in food is almost as bad as 
over-indulgence in liquor. Toxic poisons are formed by over-in- 
dulgence in food, but this can easily be controlled if the player 


will just use common sense. Food should be eaten slowly and 
chewed well. Too much fat should be avoided, and boiled and 
baked foods are much better than those which are fried. Milk 
is a wonderful food, but it should be drunk in the proper manner 
to get the best benefits from it. 

Various opinions are held by coaches regarding what should 
be eaten by a basketball team at the meal immediately preceding 
a game. Some feel that a very light meal should be served; 
others feel that a reasonably heavy one should be provided. 
There are likewise differences of opinion regarding the serving 
of coffee, milk or tea. 

Regardless of what type of meal is served, however, it should 
be eaten at least three hours prior to the scheduled starting time 
of the game. The main factors to be considered in preparing 
the meal are that it should be free from greasy foods and ice 

After many years of experience and experimenting, we feel 
that the best results are obtained by serving the players the fol- 
lowing meal before a game. 

Medium-sized steak (sirloin) 

Baked potato 

Peas, or some other green vegetable 

Toast (with very little butter) 

Jello or cup custard 


Water (without ice) 

Time Required to Get the Team in Proper Condition. — 
Conditioning should be done gradually in order that the best re- 
sults may be obtained. The three main factors which enter con- 
ditioning are in respect to the heart, the body muscles and the 
lungs. Opinions differ as to the amount of time required to get 
a team into proper condition, but in the authors' opinion a month 
to six weeks at the most is sufficient time to put a squad in good 
physical condition to engage in a real, scheduled game. 

Care of the Feet. — A subject of vital importance to every 
coach, and one on which the authors lay particular stress, is the 
matter of the care of the feet. As in boxing, where the condi- 
tion of the hands is of vital importance, so in basketball the 
condition and care of the feet are vital factors in maintaining 


a player in perfect condition physically. A basketball player, 
no matter what his ability, is no better than his feet, and unusual 
care and attention should be spent on this matter. Care must be 
taken that shoes fit properly, because a short shoe will cause 
trouble with the toes and a shoe that is too large will allow the 
foot to slide and become blistered. Offensive work which requires 
many sudden stops causes the feet to become tender, and as a 
result, blisters, enhancing the chance of possible infection, make 
their appearance and hinder greatly the activities of the player. 
These blisters should be given the attention they deserve. 

What should the player wear on his feet to give them the 
greatest protection? He should wear two pairs of socks, a cotton 
pair next to his feet and a wool pair, of a varying degree as re- 
gards weight, over the cotton ones. Medium-weight wool is best, 
but what he will actually wear will depend on the choice of the 
individual player. This arrangement is much better than one 
pair of heavy woolen socks because it avoids the perspiration evil 
and takes care of the sudden shifting of the feet and the result- 
ing skin shock. 

The question of a trainer and his value to the team is next 
in importance to actual coaching. At Pennsylvania, we are for- 
tunate in having one of the best, James "Mickey" McLaughlin, 
and his value in the conditioning of the team is of inestimable 
importance. If you are fortunate enough to have a trainer, take 
every advantage of his knowledge in regard to putting a man 
into as nearly perfect physical condition as possible. If you do 
not have a trainer, acquaint yourself as fully as possible regard- 
ing the care and conditioning of the feet. 

While no attempt will be made here to outline a full schedule 
regarding conditioning in the matter of feet, their care and atten- 
tion, it would be well to bear in mind that, in order to toughen 
the feet, the use of a compound tincture of benzoin will be found 
very helpful. Your druggist will be able to help you out as to 
just what strength you should use, and its application two or 
three times a week will be found very helpful. Bruises on the 
feet, of the type commonly termed "stone bruises," can be helped 
by the application of felt pads to afford protection. 

Injuries. — In the case of ankle and knee injuries, which are 
most prevalent in basketball, the injured knee or ankle should 
first be soaked in cold water to prevent swelling. Hot and cold 
water should then be applied alternately. The next step should 


be to tape the injured part, and if you do not get immediate re- 
sponse to these remedies, a physician should be consulted. Heat 
should be applied to muscle bruises. In the case of injuries to 
the head or neck, it is best to take no chances on the personal 
diagnosis of the coach or trainer but to consult a competent 
physician immediately. If you are at an institution where a 
Student Health Department is functioning, the injured player 
should be turned over to this department immediately. 

Colds. — Common colds are an evil which every coach must 
combat, and a player who has a cold or who is subject to them 
should not be worked too hard. Nothing breaks down the vitality 
of a player like a cold, and proper precautions should be taken in 
regard to baths after practice. Players who have become over- 
heated should dry themselves carefully after taking a bath and 
should allow a reasonable length of time to elapse before going 
out into the cold air. This is a matter for the coach to regulate, 
since players are young, inexperienced and inclined to be care- 
less in these small yet vital details which are so important in 
attaining perfect physical condition. 

Proper ventilation of your practice hall is a matter which 
should receive the attention which it deserves. The players should 
get plenty of fresh air, but they should be protected from drafts 
as much as possible. Squads usually are in such physical con- 
dition that they are able to combat germs, principally cold germs, 
but nevertheless, everything should be done to protect them in 
this respect. 

Schedules. — It seems proper at this point to discuss the length 
of the schedule of games to be played and how the practice periods 
should be arranged during that period. For a long time it has 
been our contention that high school schedules are too long and 
that a maximum of fifteen or sixteen games is quite enough for 
practically all high school squads. At Pennsylvania, where we 
at one time played twenty-six or twenty-seven games during 
the season, this has since been cut down very materially in 
the last six or seven years and eighteen or nineteen games is the 
limit that we now play. If this is the case with college teams, 
and a great many of them adhere to a schedule of about this 
length, certainly younger and more immature boys in high school 
should not be asked to play long schedules of twenty or more 
games. Many a boy of great promise in high school has left his 
best behind him when he reaches college simply because he has 


become burned out. We therefore very strongly advocate a 
schedule somewhere along the number of games mentioned. 

In making up your schedule, it will be well to keep in mind 
the make-up of your squad, whether the players will be green 
and inexperienced or veteran and seasoned. In the former case, 
the competition in the early games should be fairly easy, leading 
up to tougher opposition as the season advances. With the sea- 
soned veteran team it will be better to play the top-notchers right 
at the start. Thus they will be called on to function at top speed 
or close to it right from the beginning. A defeat or two may 
even do a great deal of good, for it will bring a quick realization 
that they will actually have to play in the games to win them 
and not coast along on their reputation. 

In making up the schedule when the team is inexperienced, 
as many home games as possible should be played, for obvious 
reasons : A court with which they are familiar and friendly faces 
watching them and urging them on will be most helpful. The 
reverse applies to veteran or experienced teams, and as many 
early away-f rom-home games should be played as can be arranged 
in order to catch opponents who are not quite so ready and not 
so experienced as your own squad. 

All of the foregoing applies if your team is free lancing and 
is not a member of a league, in which event each team will be 
affected similarly in schedule arrangements. Should you be in a 
league, however, outside games should be with opponents of a 
strength inferior to league teams, if possible, because league 
games are surrounded usually with a great deal of pressure. 
Players are worked up to a high pitch, burn up a lot of nervous 
energy and cannot be expected to perform as well against non- 
league teams as compared to league opponents. Burning up or 
using up too much nervous energy has a tendency to bring on 
that ever dreaded factor in basketball, staleness. Too many hard 
games in succession without proper rest and relaxation and an 
opportunity to rebuild nervous energy has caused and always 
will cause teams of far superior ability to be beaten by teams far 
below them in ability but in perfect physical and mental condi- 
tion. Never count any game an easy one; the only easy ones 
on the schedule are the ones behind you. Every game as it comes 
up becomes the most important one and stays in that category 
until it is played and over. 

It will be wise when scheduling your games to keep in mind 


your examination periods. Players at this time are at a low ebb 
mentally as far as sports are concerned and the irregular hours, 
lack of sleep and worry as to how they are going to make out in 
their studies all take their toll and lead again to staleness. Com- 
paratively easy games should be scheduled just prior to the be- 
ginning and at the end of the examination period. In regard to 
scheduling games on trips, these should only be of two days or 
three at the most and the easiest team should be played on the 
first game of the trip. As many substitutes should be used as 
the game warrants, although this will be a matter of judgment 
and a question as to which game on the trip is most eagerly sought 
as to victory. Trips take a lot out of boys and complete rest 
should be given them upon their return. If the schedule permits 
it, a day or two away from basketball entirely will have very 
beneficial effects. 

Common sense will be a very helpful aid in making up your 
schedule, and the welfare and health of your boys will be the 
determining factor. Always remember that basketball is one of 
the most grueling games; it is strenuous from start to finish, and 
it demands everything a boy has in physical stamina. The aver- 
age boy you will coach is ambitious to continue his education 
and looks forward to completing it. Do not expect in the few 
short years you have him to turn him out as a finished basketball 
player. Ground him well in the fundamentals, work on his weak 
points, and teach him that there are two distinct phases of bas- 
ketball, offense and defense, and that one is just as important as 
the other. When you have done these things your work will be 
finished; you will have done a good job and you will have every 
right to feel satisfied that you have performed your duty well, 
both as regards the boy and yourself. 


Psychology plays a very important part in the success of any 
coach. In the first place, no matter what the size of your squad, 
all players must be handled as individuals with separate and dis- 
tinct personalities and everything possible should be done to 
bring out the best in every man. One type of player thrives on 
kindness and praise and will play his heart out for you in re- 
sponse to a few kind words and a pat on the back. With another 
type this sort of treatment simply causes him to become self-satis- 
fied and, as a consequence, to ease up in his efforts. There are 


many other t different individual traits and characteristics with 
which the coach must make it his business to acquaint himself. 
He must realize that playing basketball is probably only one of 
the many activities of the boy under his supervision and direc- 
tion, and that his time spent at basketball, aside from the fun 
the boy gets out of playing, is just one of the things which will 
better fit him for life's battles when his schooling is over. 

One of the vital mental factors which a coach must build up 
in a boy is the matter of confidence and sureness in his ability to 
do a thing — well. Having confidence in himself gives him the 
initiative so necessary in all good athletes. Likewise, being sure 
of himself, he will be relaxed and have his body under good con- 
trol for proper coordination of mind and muscles. Another fac- 
tor must be watched here, however, and that is the matter of over- 
confidence, or to use a slang phrase so aptly applied to it, "cocki- 
ness." Over-confidence causes mental sluggishness, and we have 
all seen instances where a team of inferior ability, but with plenty 
of fight, aggressiveness, and no fear of the foe whom they were 
playing, went out and won games from an over-confident team 
who felt all they had to do to win the game was to go out on the 
floor and go through the motions. Confidence up to the proper 
point is ideal, but to go beyond that and to become over-confident 
is ruinous. 

Another factor regarding which the coach must be alert and 
be constantly on the lookout for is worry. Nothing will so im- 
pair a player's ability as this particular thing. This worry may 
be due entirely to outside conditions. When it does have to do 
with the game, it usually occurs in the case of the over-conscien- 
tious boy, usually high strung and of the nervous type, rather 
than the phlegmatic or stolid individual. Its causes may be 
many, but it usually begins when a player's shots are not drop- 
ping as he feels they should. In an effort to correct his shooting, 
he becomes tense and, as we term it, "starts to press" instead of 
being relaxed as he should be. As a consequence his entire 
technique has a tendency to become erratic and your immediate 
job is to straighten him out and get him, first of all, on the proper 
mental plane again. 

The matter of worry in connection with outside conditions 

or something entirely foreign to basketball is just as dangerous 

and can be just as harmful as that which occurs in playing the 

game. This worry may be caused by any number of conditions: 



financial, home conditions, studies, love, or any other factor 
peculiar to that particular individual's living conditions. 

Here is a problem for the coach and, if he realizes it, he is in 
an ideal position to handle it. The coach is in every sense just 
as much a teacher as any member of the faculty. In his rela- 
tionship with the boy under his training and supervision, he is 
much closer to him, by far, than any member of the faculty. 
So to speak he meets him "in the raw" because of the way the 
boy must equip himself for practice and games. The coach is 
"right next to his skin" and is in a better position to get "under 
his skin" regarding his troubles than any other member of the 
faculty, than perhaps his parents, if he has properly won the 
boy's confidence and trust. Here psychology plays its most im- 
portant part, and if the coach is tactful and smart, he can be 
very helpful and there will be practically nothing which he will 
not be able to help eradicate as far as this type of worry is 

All players should of course be imbued with spirit, enthusi- 
asm and the desire to win. The arousing and maintenance of 
this spirit is in the coach's hands. He should be liberal with 
praise when it is merited. He must condone, to a certain extent, 
mistakes which are the result of well-intentioned actions on the 
part of the player. This certainly does not apply, however, to 
errors of stupidity or sluggish mental action. Players are just 
as good as a coach makes them feel they are mentally, and con- 
tinually criticizing them or telling them they are no good will 
result in just that condition, they won't be! A player and a 
team must go out to meet their opponents with the idea that 
they can beat any team they meet, that the other team has noth- 
ing in its repertoire that they need fear. After all, there is 
nothing mysterious about basketball, it is mostly hard work and 
perfection of fundamentals, blended into a team system where all 
five men, in so far as possible, are functioning as a unit. 

In regard to this enthusiasm, spirit and the part a coach plays 
in building it, every effort should be made to have the players 
get all the fun out of the game that they can, particularly in 
regard to practice sessions. In their anxiety to do a conscien- 
tious job, coaches sometimes overreach themselves and get their 
players to fear them. They may be regarded as Simon Legrees 
as far as coaching is concerned, when as a matter of fact they 
may actually be the best and kindliest fellows in the world at 


heart. In other words, while the coach wants and must have the 
respect and confidence of his players, he must if possible put 
himself on a plane where the players regard him as one of them, 
in every way looking out for their best interests. In the last 
analysis, however, they should realize, unconsciously perhaps, 
that he is "the boss" and that his word is law during the time 
they are under him. 

There has always been a great deal of discussion regarding 
the so-called "pep" or "fight" talk given to the team just before 
a game. We believe that, used at the right time and for certain 
games, this type of talk can be of great value to the team, but 
only if the coach is absolutely sincere and the team conscious of 
the fact that he is sincere. If he isn't sincere to the n'th degree 
in this type of talk, he had better forget it because it will make 
no impression whatever upon his players. 

In general, this talk to the players before a game should be 
made in a quiet manner. The coach should point out what he 
knows about the offensive and defensive strength of the oppo- 
nents as a team, any weaknesses or strong points on the part of 
any individual opponent, and then outline how he wants his own 
team to start out at the opening of the game. 

Here again a point comes up which is always given consid- 
erable discussion and that is the question as to when a squad 
should be informed as to who will start the game. Many argu- 
ments are advanced both ways as to which is the better plan to 
follow: Whether it is best to make this announcement a day or 
two ahead of the game or in the last half hour just prior to the 
start of it. We do it just before starting time, after talking indi- 
vidually to the five men who will start the game. This, of course, 
applies only where there is some question of almost equal ability 
and when there are no outstanding five men who would automat- 
ically begin the game. We leave it to your judgment as to which 
plan to follow and suggest that you try both and choose the plan 
you like best. 

A great deal has been written pro and con regarding the term 
"fight" in connection with sports. Many times we hear the re- 
mark about football: that playing it is 75 per cent "fight" and 
25 per cent knowledge of the game. We believe that the same 
thing applies to basketball, although the same percentages would 
not apply. While every man on a basketball team handles the 
ball at some time or other, in football several of the team never 


get their hands on the ball at any time during the game and 
basketball, as a consequence, requires more finesse and technique 
on the part of each and every player. But "fight" comes from 
the heart and soul, and exists just as fully in one sport as in 

Just what is meant by the term "fight"? It is an indomitable 
will to win, the player exerting every ounce of aggressiveness in 
his make-up and playing the game so hard that at its finish, or 
at a time when he has to leave it with all his energy spent, he 
can say to himself, "I gave all I had." 

One might well ask, where does this spirit originate? In all 
of us, as Americans, there exists a natural aggressiveness inherited 
from our forefathers, the pioneers of our country. We all want 
to win, to excel in anything we undertake. With this charac- 
teristic trait as a background, the boy attending any particular 
institution soon finds out that his college or university has age- 
old traditions in competitive sports and through his associations 
he soon becomes imbued with the same spirit. Likewise in his 
association with his coach, he either likes or dislikes him and, 
if he likes him, he will because of his close relationship and loy- 
alty literally break his neck to win for him. We place the coach, 
because he is a red-blooded human being, above the institution 
in this connection, and at the same time we feel that it is no dis- 
respect to the institution that the boy feels this way. Naturally 
he must have confidence in the coach and in what the coach tells 
him. When all these factors are united into a whole, we have 
that intangible thing called "fight" which is so valuable and so 
necessary to a winning team. 

It should be borne in mind that a player in his aggressive 
play must be clean and a fair sportsman. He must "take it" 
just as he "gives it," but certainly at no time should dirty play 
be construed as aggressiveness. There is no place in any sport 
for the dirty type of player and thankfully it may be said that 
the dirty player is the exception rather than the rule. We look 
upon athletics in a decidedly different manner than the conti- 
nental nations in regard to winning and losing, the latter being 
much more philosophical about it than we are. To our credit 
it may be said that, no matter how intense the rivalry between 
two teams, how hard fought a contest may be, or how tempers 
may be tried during the heat of battle, at the end of the game, 
all is forgotten and forgiven and all credit is given to the victor, 
the winner of the spoils. 


In the halls of the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania 
there hangs a plaque which reads: 

"To win the game is great, 
To play the game is greater, 
But to love the game is greatest of all." 

These simple words have served as an inspiration to many a 
Pennsylvania athlete. 


One is sometimes asked, "In what section of the country is 
the best basketball played?" The answer is that no one section 
of the country has any monopoly in regard to the best basket- 
ball. Styles vary in different sections, some sections stressing 
defense rather than offense and vice versa. In the East, we 
believe that more conservative basketball is played, defense get- 
ting a great deal of attention; in the Middle West, the offense 
gets more attention than the defense, and in the West and South, 
offense is decidedly the main object. It is the old story of 
whether, as in football and baseball, the high scoring, free hit- 
ting type of game is liked best or whether tight defenses and 
limited scoring are more to be desired. From its inception, and 
because of the fact that basketball got its start and was origi- 
nated in the East and our connection with the game has always 
been under Eastern influence, we have always been in favor of 
the conservative, defensive type of game. This is a matter of 
choice on the part of the coach, however, and it is up to him to 
adopt and teach the style that he likes best and believes in most. 

One thing which hurt basketball for a long time as far as 
intersectional games were concerned was the different interpre- 
tations placed on the rules by the various sections. Games were 
usually very unsatisfactory as far as officiating was concerned 
due to the fact that the officials in one section were told to inter- 
pret the rules one way and those in another section another way. 
This is not meant as a reflection on the ability or impartiality of 
these officials. The situation developed mostly because represen- 
tatives of different sections in control of basketball simply refused 
to see eye-to-eye and. each influenced what he desired for his 
particular section. Fortunately this condition has changed greatly 
in the last few years and we are now able to play intersectional 
games between teams from all sections, for the reason that every- 


body is following the rules as they are given in the rule book and 
not changing them to suit the individual taste. 

This has been a boon to basketball because there is no greater 
factor in arousing popular interest in any sport than intersec- 
tional contests. Comparisons of styles of play are made, sug- 
gestions for changes in the rules which will help the game come 
from all sections, and basketball in general has been helped 
greatly by this uniform attitude. 


Key to Drills and Diagrams 

The following is the key to all the drills and diagrams men- 
tioned under the various fundamentals in Parts I and II of this 

Ball being passed OOOOOOOOOO > 

Man dribbling ball Ol O I O I O I OIOIOIOIO 
Man running | I | ) I I I H M U I M 1 I M I I I I ) > 

Defensive men D 

Offensive men # 

Specific offensive men F3, F4, Gl, G2, C5 

Ball Beats Man Drill 

To prove conclusively that a good pass will beat the fastest 

Line the squad up in one large circle. Start the ball and a 
runner, who takes his position outside the circle, off together. 
The idea of the men forming the circle is to keep the ball ahead 
of the runner. The runner's purpose is to beat the ball. If the 
runner catches up with the ball and merely tags the man having 
it, he is given credit for having blocked that pass. Very few men 
ever even come close to doing this. Have all the men in the circle 
try to "beat the ball." 

Changing Direction Circle Drill 

For conditioning: 

Form a large circle and, maintaining this circle, have the men 
jog around in a clockwise direction. Have them increase their 
speed and then have them change the direction of their running 
upon the command "change." 

Circle Pepper Drill 

For quick, accurate passing practice: 

In squads of ten, form a circle with a distance of 5 yards 
between the men in that circle. Have competitive passing drills 



of one minute's duration, each squad competing against all the 
rest in an effort to make the greatest number of passes within 
that time. Make the choice of passes optional with the indi- 
viduals and allow the squads to pass in a clockwise or counter- 
clockwise direction. Spirit may be aroused by having all the 
men in the respective squads "count 'em out loud." 

Close in Drill 

A drill for two-hand overhead shooting: 

Arrange the squad into two parallel lines much the same as 
in the "Parallel Lines Drill." This time, however, have these 
lines spread across the court and have the line farthest away 
facing the basket and about 20 feet from it. It is best to work 
one ball to every two or three couples. Have the man in the line 
near the basket pass a high pass to his mate in the other line 
and then advance to block the shot. The former must be cau- 
tioned that, in a game, the shooter would not be curtailed to just 
shooting but could also fake and dribble, and therefore that he 
should not leap into the air unless the ball is in the air and can 
really be blocked. After the shot the blocker retrieves the ball 
and the next in line go through the drill. Have the lines change 
places when sufficient shooting practice has been obtained. 

Come and Meet It Drill 

For practicing one-hand "turn-around" shots from the pivot: 
In this drill form two single-file lines, one to be the passing 
line and the other the shooting line. Place the second line under 
and to the right of the basket and the first line in line with the 
second but 15 or 20 feet out. At a given signal have the leader 
in the first line pass to the first man in the second line as that 
man cuts out and toward the ball. The passer should time his 
pass so that the receiver gets the ball about 10 feet from the bas- 
ket. From this point the receiver executes his one-hand "turn- 
around" shot (left or right). The passer follows the shot, and 
passer and shooter then change lines. 

This drill may be worked from either side of the foul lane. 
Make sure that each shooter takes his first step in a "parallel to" 
or "toward the basket" direction. 

Come in for It Drill 

For practice in securing center taps: 

This is worked in groups of six, five players (center, two 



guards and two forwards) and one ball tosser. Have the players 
form a square with the center and the tosser in the middle. Num- 
ber the corners of the square, 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

Before each toss up and subsequent tip-off, the center calls 
a number and an A or B, after it. "A" will be a 45-degree angle 
tap while "B" will be a straight side tap. When a man's number 
and the tap direction have been called, that man comes in for it. 
Getting a side tap he passes to the man on the same side of the 
square. If it is a 45-degree tap, he comes in for it and passes 
to the man diagonally across the square. 

^ Cross to the Pivot Drill 

For "turn-around" shooting after a cross-court cut: 
Line two lines in single-file formation. Have line #1 eight or 
ten feet out from the endline near the sideline and facing to- 

Fig. 58. 

ward the basket. Have line #2 25 to 30 feet out, facing the 
basket and slightly on the side toward line +f: 1 . Have leader in 
#1 line cut as the first man of #2 line gives him a lead pass. 
The receiver should get the ball just as he hits the near line of 
the lane. From this point he can go on to take another step 
and "come up under" for a shot, or he can reverse direction 



before taking his "turn-around" shot. Have men change lines 
after participating. 

This drill may be worked from the left or right side of the 
basket (Fig. 58). 

Dribbling Competition in Lines Drill 

For practice in speed dribbling: 

Divide the group into three squads of equal numbers and, 
giving the first man in each squad a ball, station the squads at 
one endline. Instruct the squads that all members of their squad 
must dribble down to the farther basket and complete their drib- 
bling by shooting and making a "lay-up" shot. They must stay 
until they make a shot, after which they are to dribble back and 
pass to the next in line. The first squad to finish is the winner. 

Dribble, Pivot, Pass, and Cut for Return Pass and Shot 
For practicing front and half pivots: 





Fig. 59. 

Line the squad in two lines, A and B. Have one line (A) 
located at the center of the court, facing the basket, and the other 
line (B) located near the left sideline, about 12 feet from the 
endline and facing toward the A line. 


The leader of the A line begins the drill by dribbling up to 
a dummy placed at the foul line, stopping with a two foot or 
one foot stop, and executing a front pivot which ends with a pass 
to the leader of the passing line (B). After passing off in an 
obliquely forward and to the left direction, the dribbler cuts for 
the basket, gets a return pass, and completes his movement with 
a cut shot. The late passer follows the shot and returns the ball 
to the center (B) line. Dribbler and passer then change lines. 

This drill may be worked to either the left or right side. To 
work the drill to the right side merely move the passing (B) line 
to the right and have the pi voter stop with his right foot forward. 

To use the drill for a half pivot, keep the same arrangement 
with one single exception: that of moving the (B) line to an 
obliquely backward left or right position (Fig. 59). 

Drill for Blocking Dribble or "Lay-up" Shot 

Arrange the squad into two lines, in single-file formation. 
Designate one line as the "dribbling line" and the other as the 
"guarding line." Have these lines located at a 45-degree angle 
approach to the basket and 30 to 40 feet from it. The dribbling 
line is then given a step lead over the guarding line. 

To start the drill, the lead-off man in the dribbling line at- 
tempts to dribble in for a "lay-up" shot while the first man in 
the guarding line gets in step with the dribbler and tries to bat 
or scoop the ball away with his near hand. Failing to bat the 
ball away, the guard awaits his chance and tries to block the shot. 
After participation the dribbler and his guard exchange lines. 
The drill may be worked from both a left and right approach. 

Dummy Is Coming Drill 

For deceptive pass reception: 

Divide a squad of ten men up into five offensive men and five 
defensive men, with the former spread across the court about 25 
feet from the basket. Have the defensive men play them as they 
would in a real game. 

To start the drill, a man (located beneath the basket) throws 
the ball, using a high soft pass, to any one of the offensive men. 
The receives tries to cover up the fact that a "dummy pass" is 
coming and does not attempt to catch the ball until the last split 
second. Once he has caught it he tries to get by his guard. If 
the offensive man is successful in this, is fouled, has to discon- 


tinue, or is forced into a held ball, the ball is returned to the man 
beneath the basket and the two men return to their places. The 
man beneath the basket should not pass to the men in any special 
order but rather should try to confuse them by using repetition 
and variation. Have the lines change places. 

End Line Drill 

For dribbling form and method: 

Divide into squads of ten men, with five men from each squad 
arranged in single file formation behind opposite endlines. Give 
the first man in the line at one end a ball and instruct him to 
dribble to the leader of the line at the far endline. The dribbler 
then takes his place at the end of that line while the next dribbler 
dribbles to the far end. 

From this formation you may have the dribblers practice one 
hand, alternating hands, and speed dribbling, etc., while you con- 
structively criticize their efforts. 

Fake, Pass and Cut Drill 

For the passing fake: 

Form the group into three lines, all located in the offensive 
half of the floor. Have one line located near the center circle 
and let the other two lines occupy positions 10 feet from the 
sidelines and about 20 feet from the endline. All three lines 
should be arranged in single file. 

To begin the drill, have the lead off man in the center line 
fake a pass to either the right or left line and cut the other way. 
The cutter may vary his direction by cutting straight down the 
center or by cutting around the line to which he has not passed. 
In either case he gets a return pass and drives in for a "lay-up" 
shot. The lead men in the other lines follow the shot. 

Progression in this drill is from the left line, to the right line, 
to the center line. 

Fake the Hazard Drill 

For practice in faking: 

Line the squad up into one long line, arranged in single file, 
before and 25 feet out from a basket. Using one or more balls 
and distributing them to the first men in the line, the coach 
should take up a position 3 or 4 feet from the lead-off man and 
in such a position that he will be between the men and the basket. 



To begin the drill, the lead-off man "fakes the hazard" and 
dribbles by him and in for a shot. From his position the coach, 
serving only as a hazard, can constructively criticize the various 
fakes. Each man follows his own shot, returns the ball, and 
takes his place at the end of the line. 

The drill can be worked from a head-on position as well as 
from a 4 5 -degree left or right approach to the basket. 

K Figure 8 Warm-up Drill 
For passing practice: 

Use one half the court and station one man in the half of the 
center circle nearest that half of the court. Place the other four 

Fig. 60. 

men, one man to a corner, in each corner of that half of the floor. 
These last four men, numbered in a clockwise direction #1, #2, 
#:3j #4, are the moving men of the drill. The man stationed 
near the center circle, #5, is the only stationary man in the drill. 
To start the drill, #5 passes to #4 who passes to #2 cut- 
ting diagonally across the square for his position. #4, after 
passing off, cuts to #3's position while #2, the recipient of the 
pass, passes off to #5 and assumes #4's position. #5 passes 
to #1 and the latter passes to #3 and goes to #2's original 
position. #3, upon receiving a pass from #1, gives off to #5 



and adopts #Vs position. It will be noticed that the men leav- 
ing the original #1 and #4 positions cut straight down the 
sidelines while the men leaving positions #2 and #3 make diag- 
onal cuts across the square. The man in #3 position has to 
delay in this position and give greater attention to timing his cut 
(Fig. 60). 

Follow the Leader Drill 

For all shot practice: 

Select your best shot as leader and have him choose the spot 
from which to shoot. At each spot selected put a number 
marker. If the leader does not make his shot and another does, 

Fig. 61. 

the latter becomes the leader and is free to select the shots. 
Those failing to make their shots must stay at that spot until the 
shot has been made, while those making shots may go on to the 
next immediately. The men, except after making a shot, must 
shoot turn for turn in order. 

You can make the game as brief or as lengthy as you want 
by putting a limit on the number of "made" shots necessary to 
win the game. 


Force Him Out Drill 

For practicing the sideline pivot: 

Form the group into two lines, each arranged in single file 
and located some 8 or 10 yards from each other and near one 
endline. Have a defensive man located 3 or 4 feet ahead of 
the lead-off man in each line. 

Begin the drill by having the #1 man of either line dribble 
diagonally forward across the major part of the court while his 
defensive man forces him toward the sideline. Once forced to 
the sideline, the dribbler executes a sideline pivot and passes to 
the lead off man of the other line. Once this man has received 
the ball, the defense man plays him and the dribbler dribbles 
diagonally cross court. The dribbler pivots, passes backward to 
the next man in the other line, and the drill continues. 

The progression in this drill is from dribbler and pivoter in 
one line, to guard in the other line, and finally to dribbler and 
pivoter in that latter line (Fig. 61). 

Foul and Follow Drill 

A foul shooting contest: 

This game is played by two teams of equal numbers, the 
players on those sides alternating in shooting. Using the foul line 
extended across the court as a restraining line, have the leader 
of team #1 start off by shooting a foul. If the foul is made, 
his team scores one point and he continues to shoot until he 
misses. When he misses, the leader of team #2, running in 
from behind the restraining line, tries to get the ball before it 
bounces; if successful he shoots from where he caught it, if not 
he has to take it back for a long shot. Any made shot, long or 
short, counts one point and the maker moves to the foul line 
to shoot until he misses. If several long shots, short shots, or 
foul shots are missed in succession, they must be followed alter- 
nately and in turn by men of the opposing teams. A score of 
2 1 points wins. 

Go Drill 

A held ball drill: 

Work in twos with a ball to each couple. Give each man a 
grip on the ball and explain that at the word "go" they are to 
try to get sole possession of it. 



Half Floor on Defense Drill 

For individual and multiple defensive practice: 
This defensive drill may be worked by using 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 3, 
3 vs. 4, 4 vs. 5, and 5 vs. 6. In working 1 vs. 2, divide your 
squad into offensive and defensive men. Have a defensive man 
assigned to an offensive man and have the next man in the offen- 
sive line occupy a set position in the center circle. From this 
position the latter cooperates with the offensive man as he tries 
to outmaneuver the defensive man and get into position for a 
sensible shot. Warn the offensive man not to discontinue or 
shoot erratically but to pass back when his progress has been 



>- * - - ^ 





Fig. 62. 

blocked. Caution the defensive man not to foul, and construc- 
tively criticize his guarding form and position. When a basket 
has been made or a satisfactory defensive performance has been 
given, the next two men are up. 

To work 2 vs. 3, 3 vs. 4, etc., merely add additional defensive 
and offensive men. As the number of men involved increases, 
the drill becomes an excellent one for practice in switching. The 
extra offensive man in each instance serves only as a feeder and 
does not attempt to shoot. This latter man should also be cau- 
tioned to give the defense an opportunity to get set again after 
a basket has been scored (Fig. 62). 



Make Ten Drill 

For under-the-basket shots: 

Line up in lines (single file) before each basket. Have the 
leader in each line take a ball and, shooting alternately with right 
and left hands, make ten "under-the-basket" shots before being 
succeeded by the next in line. Make shooters abide by the 
"opposite hand-foot rule" and have them use the backboard in 
attempting these shots. 

/ Man on Foul Line Cut Drill 

A good before the game warm-up: 

Locate 'a cutting line to the left or right side, 30 or 40 feet 
from it, and at a 4 5 -degree angle approach to the basket. Locate 
two other men on 'the foul line and facing the basket. 

Fig. 63. 

To start the drill, have the #1 man in the cutting line cut 
for the basket and have the first man in the passing position pass 
him a two-hand underhand flip pass as he cuts by. The passer 
then follows the "lay-up" shot taken by #1, returning the ball 
to the second man in the passing line. The latter passes off to 
cutter #2 while the first cutter assumes the foul line position. 
Progression is from the cutting line, to passing and following line, 
and back to the cutting line. 




If the drill is worked correctly and the players take the proper 
pride in their work, the ball should never touch the floor 
(Fig. 63). 

Parallel Lines and Variations Drill 

For teaching and practicing passes: 

Work in squads of ten men, two lines of five men each, facing 
each other and 8 or 10 yards apart. The men in each line should 
be 5 yards away from their neighbors. From this arrangement 
and working at command, practice the various orthodox passes. 

Pass and Close in Drill 

For practicing the stationary pivot: 

Divide into squads of ten and have the squads form circles 
with at least 5 yards between each man. Introduce a ball into 

Fipr. 64. 

circle and instruct the players to pass to any man in that circle 
and then close in and, for a second or two, attempt to recover 
or get a "held ball." If unsuccessful in obtaining a held ball 
situation, the defensive man should present the offensive man 
with an obvious "in" to the circle by overplaying the man on one 
side or the other and thus enabling the ball handler to pass off. 
The pass receiver should be instructed to evade the would-be 



retriever by executing a stationary pivot until such time as he 
can pass off to some one else in the circle. The late pivoter then 
closes in on the new receiver and the other guard takes his place 
in the circle. 

Caution the men against fouling and do not allow the pivoter 
too much time for getting rid of the ball (Fig. 64). 

Pass and Cut Drill 

The pass, cut, and return pass drill for "lay-up shots" with- 
out a dribble: 


Fig. 65. 

Line your squad up into two single-file lines, line #1 in the 
corner facing courtward and line #2, 30 to 40 feet out and 
facing the basket at a 45-degree angle. Have the first man in 
line #:2 pass to the first man in line #1 and cut in for the re- 
turn pass and "lay-up" shot. After passing, men in line #1 
follow #2's shot and return to take their turn in that line. The 
shooters from line #2 progress to the end of #1. 

This drill may be run from the left or right side of the 
basket by moving both lines over to one side or the other. It 
may be run from in front by moving line #2 to that position 
while line #1, stationed at either side, faces obliquely outward. 


y^Pass to Man in Center and Go Around Drill 

For passing to a stationary man as the passer circles him at 
a run: 

Have one man stand in the middle of a large, imaginary cir- 
cle and give another man a ball. Instruct the man with the ball 
to circle the stationary man while the two exchange passes. The 
runner will find it best to use two-hand chest and two-hand shoul- 
der passes as he runs, while the man in the center will find the 
former pass coupled with the stationary pivot to be his best bet. 
The latter man pivots and gives return passes as the runner cir- 
cles around him. Have the first man in the center stay for two 
men, but thereafter the progression is from the waiting line to 
the man around, to the man in the center. 

The drill may be run clockwise or counterclockwise. Bad 
passes on the part of either one of the team of passers may be 
penalized by an additional round (Fig. 65). 

Passing to Man Ahead and Cutting Ahead While Moving 
in a Circle 

For conditioning: 

As in the Passing to Man Ahead While Running in a Circle 
Drill, form a large moving circle and introduce a ball. In 
this drill, however, after making a two-hand chest pass to the 
man ahead, the passer cuts quickly ahead of his pass while the 
circle moves on. Once the passer has taken a new position just 
in advance of the receiver, the latter repeats the procedure. 

Passing to Man Ahead While Running in a Circle 

For conditioning: 

As in the Changing Direction Circle Drill, form a large circle 
and, holding positions, jog around. In this drill, however, intro- 
duce a ball and have the players pass it from one man to the 
next. Change direction upon command. 

Pick Them Up at Half Court Drill 

For deceptive footwork: 

Divide the squad into two teams and assign their members 
man for man. Have them spread across the court into two 
parallel lines located near one endline. At a given signal, have 
the defensive men drop back (facing the play) to half court. 
The offensive team then breaks up the floor as though on offense 
and by means of deceptive footwork, pivots, bodily weaves, etc., 
tries to get past the defensive men. The latter pick the offense 



up at half court and play them as closely as their court position 
indicates as proper. No ball is used in this drill. 

Fig. 66. 

Play It Drill 

A drill with gamelike situations: 

Line your squad up in two lines arranged in single file and 


numbered in the order in which they are placed, the men at the 
head of each line being #1, the next #2, etc. The coach stands 
behind one endline while the two lines are located beneath the 
far basket and are facing his way. 

Only one ball is used and that is put in play by the coach 
who rolls it up the center of the court, between the two lines, and 
calls "#l's (or #2's) play it." When men hear their number 
called, each #1, for example, tries to get possession of the ball. 
When one man gets the ball he automatically goes on offense 
while the other, seeing he has lost or is about to lose the ball, 
goes on defense and tries to prevent a shot, dribble, or other 
advantageous offensive act. Encourage the men to take only 
sensible shots and advise them to work their man out of position. 
If a man has discontinued or is withholding the ball from play, 
the coach may call upon additional men to help them out. Team 
mates of the man in possession of the ball immediately go on 
offense while their opposition goes on defense. 

Play continues until a basket has been made, a discontinued 
dribble has occurred, a foul committed, a held ball established, 
or until the ball is thrown out of bounds. Until the play is 
stopped the men in the two lines retain their original numbers. 
After the play has ceased, the late participants quickly leave the 
bounds of the court and return to their lines. The men then at 
the head of the lines become #l's (Fig. 66). 

Play the Whistle Drill 

For practicing the quick transition from offense to defense, 
and vice versa: 

Divide the men into two regulation teams of center, forwards 
and guards and start the drill with a regular toss-up at center. 
The members of the team securing the tip-off go into their re- 
spective offensive positions while the losers play as in a regular 
man-for-man defense. Allow the offensive team to work the ball 
in a bit and then blow a whistle. Do not permit shots. Explain 
to the players that the blast of the whistle signifies loss of the 
ball; that the offensive player in possession of it should drop the 
ball immediately while all members of that team drop back and 
meet their men at half court. The late defensive team is now on 
offense, and it remains on offense until the next blast of the 
whistle, when a recurrence of the above procedure takes place. 

The defensive team does not offer any serious opposition to 



the passing attack; they should, however, be careful of their 
guarding position and all other defensive maneuvers (Fig. 67). 





D G 

Fig. 67. 

Race Against Time Drill 

A dribbling drill for direction and hand change: 

Form one large circle, with a 5-yard space between each man 


in that circle. Time each man as he takes his turn and dribbles 
past each man making up the circle. The dribbler must pass 
the first man on the left, the second on the right, the next on the 
left, and so on. Have him change hands, so he is dribbling with 
the "away" hand, as he goes arpund the men who serve as hazards. 
The dribbler who does the drill correctly and in the least amount 
of time is the winner. 

Scoop Up and Dribble Drill 

For practice in dribbling: 

Form the squad into one single line, located under one basket 
and facing the farther endline. The coach and an assistant or 
manager, who serves as a feeder, should be located around the 
midline of the court. From this position the coach feeds balls 
to the men lined up underneath the basket. The coach in turn 
is fed by the assistant at his side, who in turn is fed by another 
assistant who retrieves the balls from the board and rolls them 

To begin the drill, the coach rolls a ball across the court and 
the man heading the dribblers' line comes out fast, scoops it up 
at a run and dribbles to the far basket for a "lay-up" shot. 
After his shot this man returns, keeping outside the boundaries 
of the court, to the tail end of the line. The coach may change 
the type of pass by throwing an occasional bounce pass or by 
varying the angle of his roll passes. 

Shoot and Follow Drill 
A rebound following drill: 

Form the group into two teams of equal numbers and arrange 
them into a single-file formation. Locate these lines about 25 feet 
from the basket and well apart from each other. 

To begin the drill, have the lead-off man in one line shoot 
while both he and the first man in the opposing line follow. If 
the long shot is made, it counts one point, while if a rebound is 
made, it counts two points. The men should play until a basket 
has been made or the ball has gone out of bounds; in the latter 
case there is no score. The teams take turns shooting the long 
shots and a running score is kept. Twenty-one points constitute 
a game. 



Single Switch Drill 

For switching practice: 

Arrange two lines as in the "Drill for Blocking Dribble or 
'Lay-up' Shot." In addition to that arrangement include two 
more lines, one offensive and one defensive, arranged single file 
and located on the opposite side of the basket and parallel to the 

To start the drill, the offensive dribbler in the first set of lines 
is allowed a 2 -step start on his defensive man who, seeing he 
will be unable to overtake his man, calls for a switch. The de- 


D DD/ D J 
• • • • / 



^ X 


* • 

D • 


Fig. 68. 

fensive team mate "switches" to the free man while his man is 
covered by the dribbler's guard. After the shot has been blocked 
or taken, the next four men are up. 

Progression in this drill is from guarding line, to dribbling 
line, to under-the-basket guarding line, to under-the-basket offen- 
sive line, and back to guarding line (Fig. 68). 

Three-Man Pass and Screen Drill 

For conditioning, ball handling, and practice in legal screening: 

Divide the group into three lines arranged single file back of 

one endline and facing toward the far basket. Have the first 

men from each line work together. The ball is started with the 



Fig. 69. 

center man passing to either of the outer men. The passer moves 
toward the man to whom he has passed and cuts ahead of him 
while the receiver moves toward the passer, makes his pass to 
the outer man (who has moved toward the ball), and then goes 


on to assume that man's position. Caution the men to go ahead 
of the man to whom they pass and not try to run at too sharp 
an angle or their screening efforts will be wasted. Upon reach- 
ing the sidelines you can have them practice their sideline pivot ; 
or, inasmuch as they will not have the ball then, they may turn 
in toward the basket. Have the three men continue until one 
man is screened and takes a set shot. All three men then follow 
the shot, assume their original positions at the far end, and come 
down court again. The next three men are then up (Fig. 69). 

/- Trail Me Drill 

For practicing the reverse pivot: 

Form the men into single-file line and have this line located 
near the middle and just back of the center of the court. Have 
the first man dribble straight ahead for a few paces, stop, execute 
a reverse pivot, and pass to the second man in line who has 
trailed him. The late pivoter breaks off to one side while the 
"trailer" dribbles in for a "lay-up" shot. The #1 man follows 
the shot, returns the ball to the next in line, and then the #1 and 
#2 men return to the end of the line. If a line has an even 
number of men, #1 and #2 should change places; if a line has 
an odd number, the men need not change places after par- 
ticipation (Fig. 70). 

Triangle Following Drill 

A rebound following drill: 

For this drill use half the court and divide your squad into 
offensive and defensive men. When this has been done, select 
three defensive men and have them play three offensive men. 
Instruct the offensive men to shoot only when within the "good 
shot area" (see diagram). Instruct the defensive men to follow 
any shot taken while they are within this area and block out the 
offensive men by turning their backs on them and forming a 

This is a gamelike drill — gamelike in that two guards and 
another defensive man or the center man follow at the defensive 
basket while the two forwards and a third offensive man or cen- 
ter follow at the offensive basket. Thus the drill shows clearly 
just which men are responsible for rebounds at each basket. 

To change the basket from an offensive one to a defensive 
one, merely change the men about so that the guards and one 



center move the ball while two forwards and a center block out 
the offensive men. 

Fig. 70. 

It will be noted that the three defensive men will usually be 
able to form some sort of a triangle and thus protect their basket 
from additional rebounds. 



S Twenty-one Drill 

A competitive game for practicing long and follow-up shots: 
This game is best played by groups of three or four players, 
although it may readily be played by a smaller or larger number. 
Have the players spread across the floor parallel to the end- 
line and 25 or 30 feet from the basket. 

\ <****~&* r 

^D# / 








Fig. 71. 

Shooting in turn and using one ball, start the game by having 
the first man shoot a long shot and a follow-up shot. Made long 
shots receive two points, while made follow-ups count one point. 
In shooting the follow-up shots the players are allowed to take 
one step from the spot at which they first touched the ball. 

If the shooter makes his long shot and his short shot he is 
allowed two more shots. He continues as long as he continues to 
make three points on each trial. The first player to score 21 
points wins the game. 


Abbott, Mrs. Senda, 2 
Air passes, 9, 11 
Ankle injuries, 125 
Arms, faking with, 43 

Backboards, requirements concerning, 7 

taking ball from, 53, 54 
Ball beats man drill, 135 
Ball, faking with, 41 
free, securing, 56 
getting possession of, 53 
center taps, 55 
drills and games used in teaching, 

following shots, 53, 54 
free balls, 56 
general advice, 56 
held balls, 55 
held, drill for, 143 
getting possession of, 55 
toss-ups, 92 
putting into play, 7 
requirements in size, weight, etc., 7 
Baskets, requirements concerning, 7 
Blocking dribble or "lay-up" shot, drill 

for, 139 
Body, faking with, 42 
Bounce passes, 9, 10, 16 
Bruises, muscle, 126 
"stone," 125 

Catching, 9 
drills and games used in teaching, 18 
general advice, 16 
position of eyes, hands, and fingers, 9 

of feet, 10 
principles, 9 
Center jump, elimination of, effect on type 
of offense, 81 


Center taps, guarding on, 50 

plays in offense against man-to-man 

defense, 89 
securing, 55 
drill for, 136 
Changing direction circle drill, 135 
Chart, home players' weaknesses and 
accomplishments during play, 76-78 
opponent's field shots, 75, 77, 78 
recording by students, 78 
Chest pass, two-hand, air, 1 1 

bounce, 16 
China, development of game in, 2 
Circle changing direction drill, 135 
Circle pepper drill, 135 
Close in drill, 136 

Coach as demonstrator of techniques, 120 
as player in practice games, 120 
relationship with players, 130, 131 
use of psychology by, 128 
Coaching, general suggestions, 117 
conditioning, 117 
intersectional games, 133 
psychology, 128 
supervision, 120 
training, 123 
Colds, 126 

Come and meet it drill, 136 
Come in for it drill, 136 
Conditioning, 117 
drills for, 135, 148 
over- training a danger, 118, 122 
physical and mental, 118 
question of outside work, 119 
self-denial required for, 123 
time required for, 124 
weight chart, 1 19 
Confidence, self-, 129 
Court, equipment, 7 

requirements in size, etc., 6 
Cross to the pivot drill, 137 



Defense, 96 
drill for, 144 

five-man, origination of, 96 
foul shots, position of players, 94 
fundamentals, summary of, 60 
importance, 96 
man-to-man, 66, 97-101 
individual play, 97, 98 
offense against, 83-90 
picking up opponents, 97, 98 
positions assumed by players, 97 
switching, 99 
over- doing, 100 
permanent, 100 
temporary, 99 
quick transition to offense, drill for, 150 
zone, 101 
disadvantages, 114, 115 
offense against, 102-115 
3 and 2, shifting formation, offense 

against, 105 
3 and 2, strictly set formation, offense 

against, 103 
3 out-2 back formation, offense 

against, 109 
2-1-2 formation, offense against, 110 
2 out-3 back formation, offense 

against, 113 
variations, 101 
Delayed offense, eliminated in modern 

play, 81 
Demonstrations of techniques by coach, 

Development of basketball, 1 
Diagrams, key to, 135 
Diet, 123 

before game, 124 
in training period, 123 
Dirty play, 132 

Double switching practice, 70-73 
Dribble, pivot, pass and cut for return 

pass and shot drill, 138 
Dribbling, 31 
"away hand," 33 
blocking, drill for, 139 
change of direction, 33 

of pace, 33 
competition in lines drill, 138 
definition, 31 
fake, 33 

Dribbling, form, 32 

correct, 32 

modifying factors, 32 
general advice, 33 
general uses, 31 
guarding on, 46 
in offense against man-to-man defense, 

methods, 31 
principles, 31 
strategy, individual, 33 
Drill, ball beats man, 135 
changing direction circle, 135 
circle pepper, 135 
close in, 136 
come and meet it, 136 
come in for it, 136 
cross to the pivot, 137 
dribble, pivot, pass, and cut for return 

pass and shot, 138 
dribbling competition in lines, 138 
dummy is coming, 139 
end line, 140 
fake, pass and cut, 140 
fake the hazard, 140 
figure 8 warm-up, 141 
follow the leader, 142 
for blocking dribble or "lay-up" shot 

force him out, 143 
foul and follow, 143 
go, 143 

half floor on defense, 144 
key to, 135 
make ten, 145 
man on foul line cut, 145 
parallel lines and variations, 146 
pass and close in, 146 
pass and cut, 147 
pass to man ahead and cut ahead while 

moving in a circle, 148 
pass to man ahead while running in a 

circle, 148 
pass to man in center and go around, 148 
pick them up at half court, 148 
play it, 149 
play the whistle, 150 
race against time, 151 
scoop up and dribble, 152 
shoot and follow, 152 



Drill, single switch, 153 

three-man pass and screen, 153 

trail me, 155 

triangle following, 155 

twenty-one, 157 
Dummy is coming drill, 139 

Educational values of basketball, 3 
End line drill, 140 

Examinations and schedule making, 128 
Eyes, faking with, 41 

Fake, pass and cut drill, 140 
Fake the hazard drill, 140 
Faking, 41 

definition, 41 

drills and games used in, 43 

hints on, 43 

kinds of, 41 

principles, 41 

with arms and hands, 43 

with ball, 41 

with body, 42 

with eyes, 41 

with feet, 42 
Feet, care of, 124 

faking with, 42 
Field shots, opponents', charting, 75, 77, 

"Fight" in basketball, 131, 132 

talks before games, 131 
Figure 8 warm-up drill, 141 
Five-man defense, origination of, 96 
Flip pass, two-hand underhand, air, 14 
Follow the leader drill, 142 
Follow-up shots, drill for, 157 
Foot, "pivot," 35 
Footwork, deceptive, 42 

drill for, 148 
Force him out drill, 143 
Foul and follow drill, 143 
Foul shooting, 26 
drill for, 143 
guarding on, 50 

position of players at defensive 
basket, 94 
at offensive basket, 94 

Free balls, securing, 56 
Freeman, Bob, 14 
Front pivot, 36 

Fundamentals, defensive, summary of, 

offensive, summary of, 60 

order of teaching, 121 

units of instruction in, 1 

when are they learned?, 122 

Games, announcement of starting squad, 
intersectional, 133 
out-of-town, 128 

"pep" or "fight" talks before, 131 
Getting possession of ball, 53 
center taps, 55 
drills and games used in teaching, 

following shots, 53 

off opponents' backboard, 54 
off own backboard, 53 
free balls, 56 
general advice, 56 
held balls, 55 
Go drill, 143 
Good losers, 132 
Guarding, 44 

against screen plays, 51 

at sides, 50 

definition, 44 

drills and games used in teaching, 52 

form for, individual, 44 

hints on, 51 

in corners, 50 

on dribble, 46 

on foul line, 50 

on "lay-up" shots, 47 

on long shots, 48 

on out of bounds, 48 

on pivot, 45 

on switches, 49 

on taps at center, 50 

on three against two (parallel method), 

on two against one, 49 
principles, 44 
under basket, 51 
Gulick, Luther Halsey, 2 



Half floor on defense drill, 144 

Half front pivot, 39 

Hands, faking with, 43 

Hashagen, Kenneth A., frontispiece and 22 

Health value of basketball, 4 

Held ball, drill, 143 

getting possession of, 55 
toss-ups, 92 

History of basketball, 1 

development in China, 2 
early development in U. S., 1 
invention of game, 1 
recent development in U. S., 2 

'"Hope" shots, 30 

Individual strategy, 58 
Injuries, 125 

Intersectional games, 133 
Introductory lecture, 1 

Jourdet, Lon W., frontispiece 

Key to drills and diagrams, 135 
Knee injuries, 125 
Kozloff, Henry, 12 

"Lay-up" shot, blocking, drill for, 139 

drill for, 147 

guarding on, 47 

one hand, 20 
Long shots, 23 

drill for, 157 

guarding on, 48 

Make ten drill, 145 
Man on foul line cut drill, 145 
Man-ahead-of-ball offense, 66, 83 
Man-to-man defense, 66, 97-101 
individual play, 97, 98 
offense against, 83-90 
bunching together, 84 
dribbling, 84 
man-ahead-of-ball, 83 
no set plays used, 85, 86, 89 
positions assumed by players, 83-85 

Man-to-man defense, picking up oppo- 
nents, 97 
switching, 99 
over-doing, 100 
permanent, 100 
temporary, 99 

Meals before game, 124 

Mental fitness, obtaining, 118, 119 

Moral values in basketball, 4 

Murray, Franny, 10 

Muscle bruises, 126 

Naismith, Dr. James, inventor of basket- 
ball, 1 

Object of game, 6 
O'Donnell, Shorty, 13 
Offense, 81 
against man-to-man defense, 83-90 
bunching together, 84 
center tap plays not used, 89 
dribbling, 84 

individual position play, 83-85 
man-ahead-of-ball, 83 
set plays not used, 85, 86, 89 
against zone defense, 102-115 
fundamentals, 102 
passing lanes, 102, 104 
set shots in, 114 
3 and 2 shifting formation, 105 
3 and 2, strictly set formation, 103 
3 out-2 back formation, 109 
2 out-3 back formation, 113 
all in front court, 81, 82 
delayed, eliminated in modern play, 81 
effect of center jump elimination on, 81 
foul shots, position of players, 94 
fundamentals, summary of, 60 
held ball toss-ups, 92 
man-ahead-of-ball, 67, 83 
out-of -bound plays, 90 
quick transition to defense, drill for, 150 
recent developments, 81 
Opponents' field shots, charting, 75, 77, 78 
Opposite hand and foot rule, 11 
Out-of -bound plays, 89, 90 
guarding on, 48 



Out-of-town trips, 128 
Over-confidence in players, 129 
Overhead pass, two-hand, air, 15 

bounce, 16 
Overhead shot, two-hand, 25 

drill for, 136 
Over-training, 118, 122 
danger signals, 118 

Parallel lines and variations drill, 146 

Pass and close in drill, 146 

Pass and cut drill, 147 

Pass to man ahead and cut ahead while 

moving in a circle drill, 148 
Pass to man ahead while running in a cir- 
cle drill, 148 
Pass to man in center and go around drill, 

Passes, air, 9, 11 

chest, two-hand, 11 
orthodox, 11 
overhead, two-hand, 15 
shoulder, two-hand, 11 
side-arm, one-hand, 12 
underhand flip, two-hand, 14 
unorthodox, 15 
bounce, 9, 10, 16 
chest, two-hand, 16 
orthodox, 16 
overhead, two-hand, 16 
shoulder, two-hand, 16 
side-arm, one-hand, 16 
unorthodox, 16 
deceptive reception, drill for, 139 
orthodox, 9 
"spin," 17 
unorthodox, 9 
Passing, 9, 11 
drills and games used in teaching, 18 
fake, drill for, 140 
general advice, 16 
principles, 9 
Pep talks before games, 131 
Physical education curriculum, reasons for 

including basketball, 3 
Physical fitness, obtaining, 117 
Pick them up at half court drill, 148 
"Pivot foot," 35 
Pivot, front, 36 

Pivot, guarding on, 45 

half front, 39 

reverse, 38 

sideline, 38 

stationary, 39 

turn around, 39 
Pivoting, 35 

correct execution, 36 

definition, 35 

drills and games used in teaching, 40 

general advice, 40 

general uses, 35 

principles, 35 

varieties, 36 
Play it drill, 149 
Play the whistle drill, 150 
Players, care of feet, 124 

charting of play in game, 75-78 

coach's relationships with, 130, 131 

colds in, 126 

conditioning, 117 

time required for, 124 

diet, 123 

"dirty," 132 

"fight" in, 131, 132 

influenced by outsiders, 123 

injuries, 125 

number on team, 6 

position on court, 6 

psychology and, 128 

self-denial required of, to keep fit, 123 

spirit and enthusiasm in, 130 

starting, when to announce, 131 
Playing area, 6 
"Pop" shots, 24 
Possession of ball, getting, 53 
Practice, coach as demonstrator, 120 

coach as player, 120 

over-doing, 122 

over- working men at, 118, 119 

rate of introduction of new skills, 121 

schedule for, 67-79 

simplicity desirable, 122 

supervision at, 120 

systematic progress in, 121 

time to spend on individual skills, 121 
Praise, liberality with, 130 
Present status of basketball, 3 
"Pressing" due to worry, 129 
Psychology, 128 



Race against time drill, 151 
Rebound, following, 53, 54 

drills for, 152, 155 
Reverse pivot, 38 
Rules, 6 

court equipment, 7 

necessity for, 8 

object of game, 6 

of play, 7 

players and playing area, 6 

Safety of basketball, 5 
Schedules, 126 

making up, consideration of team's 
experience, 127 
examinations and, 128 
non-league teams, 127 
number of games in, 126 
out-of-town trips, 128 
welfare of boys determining factor, 128 
Scoop up and dribble drill, 152 
Scouting report, chart for, 75, 77 
Screen plays, guarding against, 51 
Screening, drill for, 153 
Self-confidence in players, 129 
Self-denial required of players to keep fit, 

Shoot and follow drill, 152 
Shooting, 19 
drill for, 142 
fouls, 26 
drill for, 143 
guarding on, 50 
general advice, 28 
orthodox shots, 19 
principles, 19 
unorthodox shots, 28 
Shots, field, opponents', charting, 75, 77, 
follow-up, drill for, 157 
foul, 26 

guarding on, 50 
getting possession of ball following, 53 
"hope," 30 
"lay-up," 20 
blocking, drill for, 139 
drill for, 147 
guarding on, 47 
one-hand, 20 

Shots, long, 23 
drill for, 157 
guarding on, 48 
orthodox, 19 
overhead, two-hand, 25 

drill for, 136 
"pop," 24 
"spin," 30 

"turn-around," one-hand, 21 
drill for, 136, 137 
two-hand, 25 
under-the-basket, drill for, 145 

one-hand, 19 
unorthodox, 28 
Shoulder pass, two-hand, air, 1 1 

bounce, 16 
Side-arm pass, one-hand, air, 12 

bounce, 16 
Sideline pivot, 38 
Single switch drill, 153 
Socializing values of basketball, 4 
Socks for player, 125 
"Spin" passes, 17 
"Spin" shots, 30 
Spirit, team, 130, 131, 132 
Sportsmanship, 132 
Staleness, 118, 122 

Starting squad, when to announce, 131 
Stationary pivot, 39 
Stone bruises, 125 
Strategy, individual, 58 
definition, 58 
examples, 58 

games used in teaching, 59 
general advice, 59 
Supervision, 120 

coach as demonstrator of techniques, 
as player in practice games, 120 
hazards of overwork, 122 
rate of introduction of new skills, 121 
simplicity desirable, 122 
systematic teaching, 121 
time to spend on individual skills, 121 
Switch drill, single, 153 
Switches, guarding on, 49 
Switching, double, practice in, 70-73 
drill for, 153 

in man-to-man defense, 99 
over-doing, 100 



Switching in man-to-man defense, perma- 
nent, 100 
temporary, 99 

Taps at center, guarding on, 50 
securing, 55 
drill for, 136 
Teaching team play, 65 

schedule for sessions, 67-79 
Team play, advanced, 81 
defense, 96 
offense, 81 
teaching, 65 
schedule for sessions, 67-79 
Team schedules, 126 
Team spirit, 130, 131, 132 
Three-man pass and screen drill, 153 
Toss-ups, held ball, 92 
Trail me drill, 155 
Trainer, value of, to team, 125 
Training, 123 
care of feet, 124 
colds in players, 126 
diet, 123 
injuries, 125 
psychology, 128 
rules, 123 

self-denial required for conditioning 123 
team schedules, 126 
time required for conditioning, 124 
Triangle following drill, 155 
"Turn-around" pivot, 39 

"Turn-around" shot, one-hand, 21 
drills for, 136, 137 
two-hand, 25 
Twenty-one drill, 157 

Under-the-basket shot, one-hand, 19 
drill for, 145 

Warm-up drill, 145 

Weight chart to gauge conditioning, 119 

Will to win, 130, 132 

Worry in players, 129 

Zone defense, 101 

disadvantages, 114, 115 
offense against, 102-115 

fundamentals, 102 

passing lanes, 102, 104 

set shots in, 114 
3 and 2 shifting formation, offense 

against, 105 
3 and 2, strictly set formation, offense 

against, 103 
3 out-2 back formation, offense 

against, 109 
2-1-2 formation, offense against, 110 
2 out-3 back formation, offense 

against, 113 
variations, 101 



University of